'Dutertenomics' won't bloat gov't debt, budget chief says


Posted at Jul 14 2017 11:19 AM | Updated as of Jul 14 2017 01:23 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte's P9-trillion infrastructure program will not saddle the Philippines with debt, as economic growth is expected to outpace borrowings, a Cabinet official said Friday.

The country's debt to gross domestic product ratio is expected to narrow to 38.1 percent in 2020 from 40.6 percent in 2016, indicating "fiscal sustainability," Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

"We expected the economy to outgrow its debt," he told reporters, adding such a debt-to-GDP ration would be the "envy" of other countries.

The Philippines also has a "steady" flow of dollar remittances and gross international reserves are enough to cover 11.7 percent of import requirements, he said.

"We're comfortable, crisis or no crisis, we have no fear," he said.

"Suggestions that we will be heavily indebted once more is not going to happen. It's unfounded," he said.

The infrastructure program will be funded through taxes, non-tax revenues and borrowings, 80 percent of which will be sourced domestically, he said.