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November 28, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte’s colorful language and bad international press on alleged extra judicial killings have not affected foreign direct investments into the country.

This was confirmed today by Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno at the Kapihan sa Kamuning Bakery hosted by columnist Wilson Lee Flores.

“We are the fastest growing economy in the fastest growing region,” Sec. Diokno said. “The colorful language of the president has not had any real (negative) effect on the economy. There’s a lot of interest still by foreign investors. ”

With these targets in mind, Diokno advised skeptical investors to see the forest from the trees. “Things are moving fast,” the budget secretary argued. “In less than 5 months since the president assumed office, the NEDA Board has already approved 18 major infrastructure projects and these are ready for bidding. If you are distracted by the trees, you may be left behind.”

“You have to take (President Duterte’s statements) with a grain of salt,” Diokno advised. “You have to make a distinction between those statements and what’s happening on the ground. We are really pushing for economic reforms and pursuing the President’s economic agenda.”

The budget secretary projects that the Philippine economy will hit a growth rate of 8% by 2022, emphasizing, “Six years from now, we will see the Philippines as a high middle income country.”

He also calls the Duterte Administration’s term The Golden Age of Infrastructure, with a projected spending of Php 8.2 to 9 Trillion or approximately 200 Billion USD in the next six years for infrastructure alone. The 2017 budget for infrastructure is P860.7 Billion.

“The Duterte Administration envisions a complete transformation for the Philippines so we will really be investing in roads, bridges, modern transit systems, modern airports, etc.” Diokno said.

The Budget Secretary added that President Duterte’s fight against crime, corruption and illegal drugs has also created an environment that is conducive to economic progress. “The administration is also investing a lot in our armed forces and police force (precisely because) peace and order is a prerequisite to economic growth. ”


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