Friday, January 31, 2014

Drilon: Congress will play a vital role in sustaining economic momentum, making growth felt by the poor

MANILA-Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today said the Congress is committed to act promptly on measures that will strengthen the country’s capacity to sustain a robust economic performance.   

The Senate leader’s statement came following the release of the country’s 2013 growth domestic product (GDP) recorded at 7.2 percent, surpassing government’s target of 6-7 percent and making the Philippine one of the fastest growing economies in Asia second only to China.

Drilon welcomed the report as a “continuing sign of the country’s improved economic policies under the Aquino administration,” but said that the highly impressive figure “needs to be sustained and be utilized to bring forth positive changes to the life of the common Filipino.”

“While we recognize the efficient management of the current administration and its fiscal managers has produced rewards for our economy in fiscal and monetary terms, the report overall would be better seen as another opportunity for the government to craft long-term solutions that will finally capacitate the socio-economic growth and overall improvement of our countrymen’s welfare,” he emphasized.  

“There is much work to do, especially in making our country much more competitive in terms of foreign investments, while at the same time making local industries stronger and better suited to participate in competition even against international rivals,” the senator added. 
“But more than that, we need to make sure that our rise in economic standing also delivers our nation’s poorest constituents to a better status in living, as the country’s wellbeing is the ultimate goal of public service,” Drilon pointed out.

The Senate chief acknowledged that the Congress will play a key role in ensuring that the improved economic growth will be sustained throughout the succeeding years, and vowed to work on legislation and policies that will encourage investments in agriculture, tourism, services and manufacturing constructions, thereby promoting further growth.

“The challenge is upon the Senate, along with other leading institutions, to pass legislation which will further fuel the economy, and more importantly, ensure that development is felt in all corners – and that means more jobs, better basic services, improved public infrastructures, among others,” Drilon said.”

Among the measures the Senate is highly considering are the rationalization of fiscal incentives to certain industries, the rationalization of the mining industry's fiscal regime, the amendment of the cabotage law, and amendments to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) charter, and measures to attract more foreign direct investments.

“We have to help the government sustain this economic momentum that was elusive for so many years, for this is the kind of growth that will eventually present us an array of opportunities in the years to come,” Drilon concluded. 

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