Duterte administrator ready to help next presidency on economic issues

MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Thursday that the Duterte administration is ready to help the new presidency during next year’s transition period address four main concerns that will affect the economic stability of the Philippines in- beyond 2022.

These four issues involve prudent debt management in relation to economic growth above 6% per year; inflation caused by global shortages; inequalities induced by the pandemic; and climate change, he told the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum.

Dominguez said that after going through a difficult episode amid the pandemic, the Philippines is on the verge of a strong recovery towards a more inclusive economy due to the strength of its institutions and the solid foundation laid by the administration. Duterte over the past five years.

In addition to ensuring fiscal prudence, he said that the Duterte administration has also introduced many political reforms to create a conducive business environment, including cutting red tape; the digital transformation of public agencies; implementation of a national identification system; modernization of infrastructure; and a streamlined corporate income tax policy and tax incentives through the Law on Business Recovery and Tax Incentives for Businesses.

The remainder of President Rodrigo Duterte’s term will focus on the rapid modernization of governance; accelerate the deployment of the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program; and pursue market-friendly and investment-attractive reforms, Dominguez said.

“The Duterte administration will also ensure that the incoming presidency is ably assisted during the transition period to resolve four key issues that will impact the economic stability of the Philippines. These include ways to prudently manage the debt we have accumulated and grow our gross domestic product at a rate above 6% per year, as we have done. We have to face the problem of inflation caused by shortages in the world, ”he said.

“We must deal with the inequalities exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, both within the country and between countries. And finally, we must fight climate change without stretching the country’s fiscal space, ”he added.

At Maybank’s 25th anniversary on Wednesday evening, Dominguez said climate finance involving both adaptation and mitigation projects would become a primary concern, as all countries will be engaged in transitioning their economies through real projects in the field.

Dominguez said that during the 26th United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) which was recently held in Glasgow, Scotland, the Philippines shed light on the real concept of climate finance, which the global meeting annual had not taken into account for over two decades now.

As the head of the Philippine delegation to COP26, Dominguez told the Glasgow series of meetings that climate finance should be anchored on the ‘blended approach’ of blending grants for capacity building, investments for green projects and grants that should cover the financial costs and risks of communities transitioning to a climate resilient economy.

He said accountability and transparency are paramount to ensure the prudent use of these taxpayer funds.

Dominguez proposed that the World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Asian Development Bank develop a harmonized set of guidelines for reviewing green projects and providing the seal of good management to help boost private investment in these initiatives.

“As we recover strongly from the pandemic and fight climate change, we will count on Maybank Philippines to deploy the engine of sustainable finance to help us overcome these challenges,” he said. (RP)

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