Leyte Representative-elect Martin Romualdez on Sunday called on his fellow lawmakers to support President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to pursue structural reforms to guarantee the country’s economic takeoff.
“We, the incoming members of the 18th Congress, are faced with the important task of pursuing vital economic legislation needed to sustain higher productivity growth. Global industrial giants see a great potential in us, but we just have to work hard to gain their trust and confidence,” Romualdez said.
“The President has issued his marching orders, and we need to follow if we all want to become a prosperous middle-class country free from poverty by 2040.
“The way I see it, we need to focus more on institutionalizing the reforms that will encourage the influx of more investments, the creation of more jobs, the improvement of human capital investment, and the building of better infrastructure.”
Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association and the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, urged his colleagues to consider as an urgent task the approval of important legislative measures that would bring about reform in the country’s relatively restrictive and less competitive economic policies.
He cited the amendments to the Foreign Investments Act, Public Service Act and Retail Trade Liberalization Act.
“We also need new pieces of scientific legislation alongside the improvements in communication, technology, the entry of foreign investors, the total expenditure on research and development, the easing of start-up procedures, the implementation of public sector contracts, knowledge transfer, total public expenditure on education and the development and application of technology,” said Romualdez, one of the strongest contenders in the speakership race in the House.
“We also have to address the urgent concerns of controlling inflation, improving the pay of workers, creating more jobs, fighting criminality, reducing poverty, fighting corruption and enhancing national security,” Romualdez said.
While the approval of all of the President’s priority economic measures in just three years could be a tall order, he said, “nothing is impossible if we all set our sights on that goal.
“All we need is to unite as one body and set politics aside. If need be, we have to cross party lines to help the President lift our people from poverty.”
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