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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Cha-cha to make PH $2-t economy—solon

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CAMARINES Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte on Monday appealed to the senators to prioritize passage of their resolution on economic Charter change “to achieve the conditional prospect of the Philippines becoming a $2-trillion economy comparable to Canada, Italy and Brazil.

Villafuerte said such economic growth as projected by the World Economic Forum (WEF) based on what it called the Philippines’s status as the region’s fastest-growing economy, is “contingent on the continued implementation of reforms leading to further investments in infrastructure and education, among others.”

“Hence, the ‘very bullish’ forecast on the Philippines’ economic future by this Geneva-based international organization should serve as a strong impetus for senators to pass RBH 6 (Resolution of Both Houses No. 6) after our March 22-April 28 Lenten break, as part of the further reforms indispensable to scaling up foreign investor interest and generating FDI (foreign direct investments) inflows to the much higher levels enjoyed by our neighbors in the region,” Villafuerte said.

By a vote of 289-7 with two abstentions, the House of Representatives passed last week on third and final reading RBH 7, considered its constitutional reform resolution patterned after RBH 6 that is still being tackled in the Senate—in support of President Marcos’ push for economic reforms in the Charter as a way for more investments to stream into the Philippines.

The House leadership had adopted the mode proposed by the late
constitutional expert Fr. Joaquin Bernas SJ, a member of the 1986
Constitutional Commission that drafted the 1987 Constitution,
on the passage of the resolution like an ordinary bill but adhering to
the constitutional vote requirement of three-fourths of the chamber’s members.

Given the ongoing discussions by the Senate subcommittee on
constitutional amendments and revision of codes, Villafuerte expressed belief that the senators appreciate by now the views by the President’s economic managers along with experts from the private sector that the constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership or participation in local businesses have been responsible for the anemic FDI inflows despite the Philippines’ status as one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies before and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Now, the WEF considers our country as the fastest-growing one, and believes it could grow almost five-fold into a $2-trillion economy in the next decade, for so long as it pursues further reforms to sustain high growth and attract far more investments,” Villafuerte said.

WEF president Borge Brende at a media briefing in Malacañang earlier said they were “very bullish on the Philippines, provided the reforms do continue. I think that this can be, in the coming decade, a $2-trillion economy if there are further investments in education,
infrastructure and also able to draw on the great competence of the
people of the Philippines.”

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