MANILA — Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz had said the government’s commitment to root out corruption and to instill good governance have enhanced the country’s global competitiveness and brought back business confidence in the country.
“From the start of his administration, President Benigno S. Aquino III has firmly upheld that good governance is good economics, and under his able and principled leadership, the administration undertook sweeping reforms across various sectors following an anti-corruption agenda,” Baldoz said in her message at the reception commemorating the 106th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence Day in Geneva, Switzerland last week.
“This political commitment to root out corruption and instill good governance at all levels has enhanced the country’s global competitiveness and brought back the confidence of the business community to our country,” Baldoz added.
Ambassador Cecil Rebong, Permanent Representative to the Philippine Mission in Geneva, hosted the reception for the members of the diplomatic corps, officials of international organizations, and Filipinos all over Switzerland.
“We celebrate the 116th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence Day this year with the Aquino III administration’s agenda bearing fruit. As a result of the reforms the government has undertaken, the Philippines is now revitalized, more dynamic, and marching towards equitable progress,” Baldoz said.
According to Baldoz, Filipinos gather every year “to honor the heroism of our forebears whose bravery and determination brought us freedom.”
“This precious gift reminds us Filipinos that freedom is a commitment – it is our commitment towards working for a more robust and progressive nation,” she said.
She reiterated what she earlier said in her participation as a panelist at the World of Work Summit, also held in Geneva, that the Philippines has increased its social investments in health, education and manpower development, including the conditional cash transfer program.
“It is because of these strategic investments in human resource that our country is assured of producing workers with skills sets that meet industry needs and readily absorbed by the market, thereby addressing the skills and jobs mismatch and long period of job search, as well as sustained economic growth,” she said.
She cited the projection of the UN Population Fund that by 2015, the Philippines will be hitting the so-called “demographic sweet spot” that will last approximately for 35 years. According to the UN, countries in this condition will experience average annual growth rates of 7.3 percent over the next 10 years.
The Philippines, according to the labor and employment chief, has earned investment grade status from three major credit-rating agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s, and that in spite of the devastation brought by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, the economy grew by 5.7 percent in the first quarter of 2014, making it the third fastest-growing economy in the region.
Last year, the Philippine economy grew by 7.2 percent, one of the highest in Asia second only to China’s.
“These are clear manifestations of the commitment of President Aquino III to fulfill its social contract with the Filipino people under the banner of good governance, accountability, and transparency,” she remarked.
Baldoz recognized the important role of regional and international partners in the Philippines’s march to progress and prosperity, thanking international donors and partners for their solidarity and for coming to the aid of the country in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan.
“We are confident that you will continue to work with us in realizing the full potential of the Filipino people and in helping find solutions to the challenges that we face. With the resilience of our people, we would like to share that we are on our way to recovery, committed to “building back better” and developing disaster-resilient communities,” she said.
“The essence of celebrating our Independence Day tonight is in our collective effort in working together to pursue continued economic and social growth coupled with our consistent advocacy for the rule of law towards an inclusive, just, and prosperous Filipino society,” Baldoz concluded.