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Traders bullish on Duterte rule

The country’s largest business group on Thursday expressed optimism the assumption of Rodrigo Duterte as the country’s 16th president will boost the economy and spread development outside Metro Manila.

PCCI president George Barcelon said the broad-based socio-economic agenda of the Duterte administration was expected to lift the agriculture and fishery sectors and micro, small and medium enterprises in the countryside.

“If we want a sustainable and truly inclusive growth, we should increase the capacity of cities and municipalities outside of Metro Manila, to absorb investments and grow their MSMEs,” said Barcelon

“We welcome the crafting of the 10-point economic agenda, and we appreciate that the business sector has been called upon to further crystallize the agenda into actionable recommendations,” said Barcelon.

PCCI also lauded the choice of Cabinet heads and their response to the sentiments and proposals of the business sector. 

DBS Bank of Singapore said Duterte’s push to develop regional areas would accelerate fiscal expenditures that would be good for the economy. “Regional development features prominently in Duterte’s economic agenda. Allowing regional governments to have a greater say in fiscal spending may accelerate budget disbursement,” DBS said in a report.

DBS, however, said the new administration should be watchful of the bureaucracy and transparency risks in the government if it wanted to improve its standing globally.

Duterte was sworn in Thursday as the 16th president of the Philippines, succeeding Benigno Aquino III. DBS said Duterte had “big shoes to fill, given the arguably stellar economic record seen during President Aquino’s term.” GDP growth averaged 6 percent under Aquino’s six-year term. 

DBS said it would take a year at the most to see if Duterte’s economic policies were effective or not. “In any case, until we get more clarity about how effective the Duterte’s administration in policy implementation, it is difficult to make any sound judgment on economic impact of his policies. The first six months to one year will provide important cues,” DBS said.

Meanwhile, the Ortigas-based Asian Development Bank expressed support to the new president and said it aimed to release $1 billion worth of sovereign loans.

ADB president Takehiko Nakao extended his congratulations to Duterte and offered to support his 10-point economic agenda.   “The Philippines, a founding member of ADB, has hosted ADB headquarters since its establishment in 1966. We are grateful for its warm hospitality and close partnership,” Nakao said. 

Duterte’s economic team earlier launched the 10-point economic agenda which aimed to sustain the country’s strong macroeconomic fundamentals.

“We are happy to elevate our support to the new administration to pursue its development objectives based on the 10-point economic agenda,” Nakao said.

Topics: Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry , PCCI , Duterte rule , agriculture , fishery sectors , micro , small and medium enterprises , DBS Bank of Singapore
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