Philippines eyeing double-digit growth when Duterte steps down in 2022
The Philippines is eyeing a double-digit economic growth or at least 10 percent before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office by 2022, the government's budget chief said on Monday.
In a forum in Quezon City , Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the double-digit growth could be driven by massive investments on infrastructure, expected increased foreign direct investments, tourism, manufacturing and services.
"Towards the end of Duterte's term after all of these have been accomplished," Diokno said when asked when the double-digit growth could be attained, adding it could "at least be 10 percent (growth)."
For this year, the government's growth target is 6-7 percent and for next year, 6.5-7.5 percent.
Asked if “bad press” on the extrajudicial killings affects growth, Diokno said: “ Well I think, yes.” But he said when the economic managers went to Washington and met with state department officials, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said:’ Look we are doing our job. What we need is help not criticism.’”
Diokno said he thinks the US has been helping the Philippines .
Diokno said the government is doing its best “to fight against drugs and to make our streets safer.”
“I think you can feel that now. Our streets are much safer than before and so we need help, not criticism,” said Diokno.
Diokno said in the next six years, the government will spend between P8.2 trillion to P9 trillion in building more roads, bridges, transport terminals, ports, and other public works.
"The government understands the important role of infrastructure in mobilizing citizens and goods, the accessibility of basic services, and national productivity," he said, noting that for 2017, the budget for infrastructure amounts to P860.7 billion or about 5.4 percent of GDP.
"Come 2017 and we will hit the ground running with non-stop, full-speed infrastructure projects across the country, all monitored using modern technology - geotagging and photo mapping," he said.
Diokno also bared the government, in particular the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), may look into the possibility of "linking Luzon and Mindanao " either through elevated or underground highways so people "can drive by car."
He cited the about 60-kilometer bridge connecting China mainland and Macau . "Ours is much shorter compared to that. It may be possible," he said.
The government is also targeting to create one million "decent" jobs yearly, he said. Celerina Monte/ DMS