MANILA — The Philippine government will continue pursuing reforms, including reducing further the cost of doing business, in an effort to support economic growth crucial to creating jobs that reduce poverty.
Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the country will make further strides in economic and social development in the last one-and-a-half years of the Aquino administration despite impediments.
He said that while both domestic and foreign businesses remain optimistic, business prospects this year are conservative.
“To address this and ensure a stable business environment, there is a pressing need to address infrastructure bottlenecks, port congestion and power woes,” Balisacan said in his message for the Socioeconomic Report 2014.
He also underscored the need to strengthen support for the passage of anti-trust or competition law to improve the country’s business climate and competitiveness.
“This will encourage firms to innovate and improve the quality of goods and services that they provide,” he noted.
Balisacan, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General, said the government must also guard against future spikes in food prices.
“…Gains from increased incomes were unfortunately negated by faster and higher inflation in food prices, especially of rice. Thus, there is a need to revisit the grains sector policy, particularly the quantitative restrictions on rice imports,” he added.
Balisacan said the country likewise should ensure strengthened and reliable social protection, and revisit the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management law.
“We need to continue the momentum of reforms in economy and governance, even as we face even greater challenges as we approach 2016,” he further said.