Finance chief says Duterte admin laid groundwork for economic expansion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2022 03:49 PM

Construction work goes underway for a commercial establishment in Quezon City on January 27, 2022. The Philippine economy posted a faster-than-expected at 5.6 percent growth rate in 2021 as looser COVID-19 restrictions propelled recovery, with GDP growing 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
Construction work goes underway for a commercial establishment in Quezon City on January 27, 2022. The Philippine economy posted a faster-than-expected at 5.6 percent growth rate in 2021 as looser COVID-19 restrictions propelled recovery, with GDP growing 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has laid the groundwork for expansion with its "hard-won" reforms which will ensure steady growth in the coming years, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said Wednesday.

Economic liberalization reforms were designed to attract investments including the Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and the amendments to both the Foreign Investments Act and the Public Services Act, the DOF said.
 
The administration had also introduced the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which includes the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law as well as the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE. 

TRAIN law reduced personal income taxes for 99 percent of workers while CREATE reduced corporate income taxes and modernized fiscal incentives, the DOF said.

Other programs backed by the administration include the ambitious "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure modernization, sin tax reform, rice tarrification, the antinational ID system and the ease of doing business law, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said. 

The rice tarrification law helped ease inflation while collected tax went to the modernization of agriculture and other support programs, he added.

“We promise you that President Duterte’s economic team will persevere until the last hour of this administration. We are confident that we will leave public office with the basic groundwork for continued and rapid growth in place," Dominguez told the newly inducted officers and members of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) in a forum.

"The next president will inherit many hard-won reforms that will boost our economic resurgence,” he added.


 
The business community has "invaluable" contributions to these reforms, "which, in turn, helped the country maintain financial strength to weather the worst of the pandemic-induced crisis." the finance chief said, adding that business groups should continue working closely with the next administration.
 
“We commit to helping make the coming transition as seamless as possible,” Dominguez said.

Key reforms helped the country fund its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and boost its chances of becoming an upper-middle-income country in 2022, Dominguez said.

The Philippines has kept its credit ratings from several debt watchers while keeping its debt-to-GDP ratio manageable. The economy in 2021 exceeded government target and has grown 5.6 percent.

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