ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PHL to surpass growth outlook if infra plans are fulfilled
The Philippines may surpass the favorable growth forecasts for its economy if the government fulfills plans to boost infrastructure spending, the World Bank said Monday.
“The Philippine economy may surpass the forecasts if authorities can further ramp up spending on public spending on public infrastructure as planned,” the Washington-based multilateral lender said in its latest Philippine Economic Update, titled Outperforming the Region and Managing the Transition.
The World Bank expects economic growth at 6.4 percent this year and 6.2 percent in the next two years, in line with the government's 6.0- to 7.0-percent growth outlook.
The Development Budget Coordinating Committee (DBCC) has said it plans to boost infrastructure spending to 5.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), with development fast-tracked by pushing for construction works 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin M. Diokno last week said the government has allocated some P8.2 trillion to fund the “golden age of infrastructure” over the next six years.
Among the projects expected within the Duterte administration are nine projects worth P171.14 billion already approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) during its first meeting in September.
This may also include some P52.20-billion worth of regional projects endorsed by the Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee (ICC-CabCom) for approval by the NEDA Board.
World Bank Country Director Mara Warwick noted the fundamentals are now positive for inclusive growth.
“Poverty will decline faster if the returns from economic expansion are invested in building human capital by strengthening health, education, and social protection,” said Warwick.
“Currently, the poor are concentrated in the agriculture sector, where increases in productivity would generate higher income for rural dwellers. Achieving this will require a comprehensive rural development strategy, which is among the priorities of the current administration,” she added.--— Jon Viktor Cabuenas/VDS, GMA News
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