MANILA—Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III has voiced optimism that the Philippines remains on track to meet its full-year growth target of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent, after the National and Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported on Thursday a first-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 6.4 percent.
“GDP expansion in the year’s first three months illustrates that growth remains steady and could gain momentum for the rest of the year,” said Dominguez, “partly as a result of this Administration’s ‘Dutertenomics’ strategy to stimulate economic activity and achieve financial inclusion for all Filipinos in the long haul via an aggressive expenditure program on infrastructure, human capital formation and social protection.”
“We hope our legislators could help Malacañang sustain the growth momentum this year and onwards by acting soon enough on the first package of the CTRP (Comprehensive Tax Reform Program) that is now pending in the Congress, as it will help guarantee a steady revenue stream for the Duterte administration’s high—and inclusive—growth agenda,” said Dominguez after NEDA Director-General Ernesto Pernia reported on Thursday that the GDP grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter.
The House of Representatives is set to start plenary deliberations next week on the substitute bill covering CTRP’s first package, to which the chamber’s Committee on Ways and Means gave its final approval last May 15, with the House leadership eyeing its passage–and referral to the Senate–before the Congress goes on its sine die adjournment in June.
Dominguez said that, “Solid macroeconomic fundamentals plus strong domestic consumption and investment sentiment have enabled, and will continue to enable, our country to sustain its pace as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies on the Duterte watch despite the ever-changing global market conditions.”