MANILA, Philippines - Among other factors, confidence in the Aquino administration has kept the economy afloat amid global uncertainties and led to a growth rate last year that the President has described as "impressive," according to the country's socioeconomic planning chief.
Arsenio Balisacan, director-general of the National Economic and Development Authority, credited the Aquino administration for the economic growth in 2012 that went beyond expectations. It is expected to be higher than the 5 to 6 percent target.
"That confidence comes from the governance that we are seeing," he told reporters on Wednesday. "There's a buildup of confidence in the business community and the general public … People see that we are addressing the basic constraints to our development. We are addressing in a substantial way the financial difficulties, and we are clearly sending signals that we have a good understanding of the constraints to our growth and our poverty reduction efforts."
Balisacan has just been endorsed by the Commission on Appointments' committee on tourism and economic development for confirmation. His appointment as NEDA chief will be officially confirmed next week.
Balisacan said people have seen in the second year of the Aquino government "that this administration really means business."
"I think that has caused confidence to build up," he added.
The economy grew 6.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012, 6 percent in the second quarter, and 7.1 percent in the third quarter. The full-year economic growth figures will be released on Thursday, January 31.
Balisacan said the challenge for government is to sustain, if not exceed, the growth rate in 2012. He added that having a 6 to 7 percent growth in the next 10 years is ideal.
"That's why you have to build the strong foundations for this growth. That means we have to address these huge backlogs in our infrastructure, from roads to airports to seaports to power. We have to address these big problems in our social sector as well," Balisacan said.