PH needs more investments in infra, education, tourism - BPI

by Kathleen A. Martin, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 20 2012 12:13 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 08:13 PM

MANILA, Philippines -- The country needs more investments in public infrastructure and education to sustain and further grow the economy, Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) President Aurelio Montinola III said Thursday.

Montinola told ANC's Headstart that President Benigno Aquino III can still improve the three components in order to allow economic growth to accelerate further.

"For infrastructure, the good news is that in the provincial areas, they're fixing the airports and they're trying to do the roads. But I think the more projects we have, the better," Montinola said.

"The fact is, there is (private sector) interest (for infrastructure projects) and while there is interest, the projects should be bid out. Well, the PPP (public-private partnership program) is doing just that," he added.

Looking at education, Montinola said that the Filipinos should realize how important it is to arm ourselves with knowledge.

"I think everybody realizes that education and (learning) English is the key (to success)," Montinola said.

He added Filipinos should also take advantage of the trait we have been known for globally: being good in customer service because of our innate friendliness.

The Philippine economy grew by a faster-than-expected 7.1% in the third quarter, bringing gross domestic product growth to 6.5% in the nine months to September.

The National Economic and Development Authority earlier this week said the economy may expand by about 6.5% this year, above government's target of 5% to 6%.

"The economy as a whole has improved so definitely, there will be growth in the real estate, manufacturing and other sectors," Montinola said.

"In the last five years, thankfully, the locals are investing... everyone (from big conglomerates to small and medium firms) is moving in their own way," he continued.