MANILA — Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday stressed the need to continue and, if needed, expand the reforms initiated by President Aquino beyond 2016, saying these reforms have ushered the Philippines’ economic turnaround highlighted during the recently concluded World Economic Forum (WEF).
“We also need to acknowledge the positive impact of the reforms initiated by President Aquino,” the Vice President said in a statement.
“These reforms triggered renewed interest in the Philippines and a re-appraisal of our economic potential. We therefore make our commitment to continue and, if needed, expand the reforms initiated by President Aquino beyond 2016,” he added.
The Vice President said the hosting of the WEF has again put the Philippines in focus.
“The successful staging of the World Economic Forum shows without a doubt that the Philippines has earned its rightful place among the emerging economies of the world,” Binay said.
The WEF held its East Asia meeting in Makati for the first time in 23 years. The conference tackled a wide range of topics, from economy to climate change and was attended by more than 600 delegates from 30 countries.
He also acknowledged that the initial stages of the ASEAN economic integration will be faced with challenges, but he described them as “birthing pains.”
“There will surely be challenges as a result of integration in the initial stages. These can be considered birthing pains. But I am confident that the spirit of mutual respect, collaboration, and friendship that characterizes the ASEAN spirit will help us overcome the challenges as individual nations and collectively as ASEAN, so we can move our economies forward,” he pointed out.
He stressed that the ultimate goal for the Philippines and other ASEAN countries “is to ensure that whatever economic gains that will accrue from integration will improve the lives of our people, eradicate poverty, and allow every citizen to share the benefits of development.”
“We are all in agreement that economic expansion is meaningless if it does not help every citizen rise above their present circumstances,” he noted.