MANILA -- Malacanang said the Philippines’ economy will be front and center during the World Economic Forum (WEF) on East Asia this week, which will be held in Manila for the first time.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the holding of the WEF in the country is a recognition of its “strong macroeconomic fundamentals due to the reforms implemented.”
He told radio dzRB the WEF comes on the heels of recent credit rating upgrades from top rating agencies.
However, Coloma conceded that more needs to be done to ensure that the economic growth will continue. “It is paramount that we focus on jobs creation and inclusive growth,” he said.
This is why social services got a 37.4% chunk in the 2014 budget, or around P972 billion, he said. This covers the budget outlay of the departments of Labor and Employment and Social Welfare as well as the conditional cash transfer program.
Coloma also asked the public to show the country’s visitors its famous brand of hospitality and why “it’s more fun in the Philippines.”
The WEF will coincide with mobilizations from militants, which are also expected to protest the pork barrel scam plaguing political institutions.
Coloma said the militants have the right to express their opinions, but asked them to follow the rule of law.
The WEF, which will officially start on May 21, will be attended by, among others, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and Myanmar Vice President Nyan Tun.
It will also be attended by more than 600 business leaders and civil society organizations from 30 different countries.
The WEF will be anchored on three pillars: achieving equitable progress, advancing models for sustainable growth, and realizing regional connectivity.