BEIJING–Members of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Cabinet presented before the international media, including the local Chinese media, and businessmen the economic and social development blueprint of the Philippines, aptly called “Dutertenomics,” on the sidelines of the One Belt One Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Grand Hyatt in China’s capital, Beijing on Monday.
“Dutertenomics is the brand we’ve given to the President’s philosophy and strategy for economic governance. It’s a strategy that’s driven by our dream of building a nationwide infrastructure network that will connect all of our 7,000 islands into one cohesive and dynamic whole, into Asia’s tiger economy,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said during his welcome remarks.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez blamed poor infrastructure why the Philippines was left behind by its neighbors in the region.
“For an archipelagic country, poor infrastructure is debilitating. It raises the costs of transporting good between islands. That is the reason our food price regime is high. Our congested roads and ports discouraged investors who need to operate on just-in-time deliveries. Our high power costs and unstable supply discouraged investments in manufacturing,” Dominguez underscored adding that it is in the area of poor infrastructure where the Philippine should begin rebuilding its competitiveness.
This is echoed by National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director-General Ernesto Pernia when he said, “Regional and rural development is the hallmark of Dutertenomics,” adding that infrastructure will create employment, vitalize the regions and reduce inequality and poverty.
Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno explained that “government is responsible for the planning, financing and building projects through competitive public bidding.”
“By taking the start-up responsibilities, government will effectively de-risk projects upfront. This allows the private sector subsequently to provide operations and maintenance, or to acquire the projects after they have been seasoned,” the Budget chief further said.
Joining the three Cabinet members of the President’s economic team in the panel are Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry, which supervises the Philippine construction industry, a sector that plays a vital role in the Build-Build-Build campaign; Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation who discussed airports, seaports and urban mass transport; Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways who talked about a network of roads, highways and bridges; and Bases Conversion and Development Authority President and CEO Vivencio Dizon who mentioned the creation of new and better cities.
Presidential Spokesman Abella, meanwhile, called on the public, the media and the business community to keep watch in these projects via the Build-Build-Build portal that was set up to promote transparency.
Also in attendance was Secretary Silvestre Bello III of the Department of Labor and Employment.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar moderated the forum.
The Dutertenomics Forum in China was the second international Dutertenomics Forum. The international launch of Dutertenomics took place during PRRD’s official visit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where he attended the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2017.