Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno
MANILA, Philippines – Economic managers of the Duterte administration are confident in saying that the Philippines is rising fast to become the next economic powerhouse in Asia.
In fact, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines is no doubt among the top investment destinations in the world today.
“We are in a very good place. We’re doing very well. We are bound to be one of the fastest growing economies in the fastest growing region in the world,” said Diokno who is also among the administration’s economic planners.
Given the current status of the Philippines, Diokno believes that foreign investors are not affected even by the loudest political noise in the country.
“I think the foreign investors know the facts, they are intelligent people, they discount statements coming from the political side, in fact, that is what we are trying to do in the economic side on the economic team, we want to change the conversation,” he said.
Diokno was referring to last week’s remarks by President Rodrigo Duterte that the country’s economy is currently “in doldrums,” meaning on the verge of a crisis.
Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino agreed with Diokno saying investors are more focused on other aspects they perceived beneficial to their business such as tax rate, infrastructure and more importantly, measures against corruption being imposed by the government.
“There are many considerations but when we look at the World Economic Forum survey that they conducted, the number one thing that they care about is corruption and we see that this administration is dead serious about addressing corruption,” Lambino said.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque on Monday clarified that the President was referring to the provinces where state projects are slow moving when he (Duterte) said “economy in the doldrums.” – Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo