A pro-administration lawmaker on Tuesday welcomed the entry of Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez in the Speakership race for the 18th Congress
, saying the House needs a leader who will push for the passage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s priority economic measures.
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“Representative Romualdez’s decision to join the Speakership
derby is a welcome development as far as the country’s economic managers and business leaders are concerned. Representative Romualdez as Speaker is good for the economy said Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, senior vice chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means.
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Salceda said Romualdez’s knowledge and vast experience in the financial markets and in economics would help expedite the passing of Duterte’s economic-reform agenda.
“Romualdez is not only a banker and an economist. He is also a lawyer who knows the legislative measures needed to propel the country’s economy to greater heights, Salceda said.
Romualdez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from the Ivy League school, in Cornell University, and a Certificate of Special Studies in Administration and Management from Harvard University. He also earned his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of the Philippines.
“All the candidates for Speaker in the 18th Congress are my friends. They are all worthy of the position, but I am sorry to say this, Martin Romualdez is a cut above the rest. He is primus inter pares, Salceda said.
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“He knows his economics and he knows his politics. Definitely, he can unite the House of Representatives and move us into passing the vital economic measures needed to sustain the country’s economic growth.”
According to the 2018 estimate of the International Monetary Fund, the Philippine economy is the world's 28th largest by gross domestic product. Under the watch of President Duterte, the country recorded a GDP of P956 billion in 2018.
Salceda said economic managers and fiscal experts shared the opinion that if the Philippines could maintain its projected GDP Growth of 6.5 percent in the next decade, the tiger cub economy might well be part of the trillion-dollar club, which currently included United States, China, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, Italy, Turkey, Korea, Spain, Saudi Arabia and Canada.
He cited the recent report of IHS Market Asia-Pacific chief economist Rajiv Biswas, which predicts that in 2022, the Philippines will reach the upper middle-income status as the robust economic growth trickles down to household incomes.
The report said the Philippine economy was poised to double by 2026 en route to a GDP of $1 trillion by 2032.
“The Philippine economy is definitely on the upswing. We need to sustain the momentum and we all need to help realize the President’s economic reform agenda. The House of Representatives needs a leader who understands this challenge and is willing to step up to the plate, Salceda said.
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