CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga — National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Ernesto Pernia urged businesses and other stakeholders to make use of the Philippine economy’s Goldilocks period.
“Over the past two years, our economic growth is pegged at an average of 6.8 percent. This means that over the recent years, economic growth has swarm sharply upwards and in a sustained fashion,” Pernia pointed out during Friday’s Philippine Economic Briefing in Clark.
He attributed this economic progress to the rising contribution of investment on the spending side as well as the resurgence of manufacturing vis-a-vis the service sector.
“Our total factor productivity has also been on the rise, making it now the fastest among the major Southeast Asian countries at 6.1 percent,” Pernia disclosed.
The official also showed a sharp increase in foreign direct investments with its bulk going into manufacturing.
“This vibrant economy translates into more and better jobs. More jobs reduce unemployment and better jobs simply mean that there are more wage and salary types of jobs that are being created compared with previous years,” Pernia explained.
Even the tourism sector is peaking up compared to previous years, translating into more receipt revenue from tourist spending in the country.
With this current scenario, Pernia stressed that what needs to be done is just to extend this Goldilocks period.
As far as the administration is concerned, he said they will sustain and further accelerate the country’s economic performance in the coming years.
“Starting this year, we aim to raise this economic growth performance to between 7 and 8 percent. And I think this is achievable given that this year, you will see the phrenetic activity in the groundbreaking of several major projects as well as minor projects in the provinces and towns of our regions,” he said.
Aside from physical infrastructure, the government is also determined to improve human capital investment through quality education and health care.
“We are also determined to initiate and sustain economic reforms. Among these, the comprehensive tax reform program is going to be completed hopefully by the end of the year. And so is the ease of doing business, the cutting of red tape to the minimum, the lifting of restrictions on foreign investment in different areas and activity of the economy,” he enumerated.
Pernia said that if the government is able to do all these, the country can be sure to achieve higher growth rates starting this year, higher than the 6.8 percent growth rate over the past two years.