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NEWS UPDATES 22 July 2010

Aquino to double Philippines infra investments

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THE Aquino administration plans to double the Philippines’ infrastructure investments in the next six years by tapping the private sector, as well, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Based on the agency’s input to the State of the Nation Address of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the new government will raise investments to a range of 25 percent to 28 percent of gross domestic product for the period 2011 to 2016, from the current 14 percent.

To achieve this, NEDA said the government will increase spending on public infrastructure through greater private sector participation.

NEDA said the government aims to modernize the transportation sector and the logistics system for efficient movement of goods and people.

“[The government] develop tourism infrastructure to provide access to major tourism destinations and spread economic development to other regions aside from Metro Manila,” the NEDA document read.

The country’s competitiveness has deteriorated in the last 14 years because of poor infrastructure and costly power.

Based on this year’ s World Competitiveness Yearbook, the Philippines performed poorly in terms of infrastructure, ranking 56th out of 58 countries surveyed.

Overall, the Philippines ranked 39th in terms of competitiveness, up from 43rd last year.

But the country lagged behind neighbors such as Singapore, which ranked 1st; Malaysia, 10th; Indonesia, 26th; and Thailand, 35th.

To improve the Philippines’ competitiveness, the Aquino administration also aims to reduce the cost of electricity, thereby reducing manufacturing costs in the country.

According to the NEDA document, the new government will also pursue Congress’ approval of the Customs Modernization Act and the Anti-Smuggling Act.

NEDA said the government will enact a competition law and create a competition body to foster a culture of competition and enhance economic efficiency for job creation.

Other priorities for the next six years are promoting anti-corruption through legislative action, administrative measures and wider collaboration with the public; improving health services and social protection services and increasing exports through diversification and trade agreements.

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