By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez said yesterday the incoming 18th Congress would help Duterte government sustain the country’s economic growth, even as he attributed the country’s current economic footing to President Duterte’s successful war against crimes, peacekeeping efforts in Mindanao and implementation of infrastructure projects.
The president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD) appealed to colleagues to refrain from engaging in political bickering and start rolling up sleeves to ensure country’s stable economic landscape.
“We should not waste precious time in politics and bickering. We need to hit the ground running in the opening of Congress and help sustain this momentum for economic takeoff,” Romualdez, one of the frontrunners in the Speakership race, said in a statement.
“Philippine GDP is expected to grow by 6.4% in 2019 and 2020. Inflation rates forecasted to fall from 3.8% in 2019 to 3.5% in 2020. Per capita GDP growth is also expected at 4.4 in 2019 and 2020. Economic experts are right: the best is yet to come,” he said.
He said the Lower Chamber should act favorably and swiftly on President Duterte’s proposed legislative agenda to ensure that the economic success of the Duterte government will not be wasted.
“No doubt about it, the President’s peace and development efforts were the twin engines that propelled our economic growth. If we can sustain this, we might just propel our economy to greater heights never seen before,” Romualdez, president of the Philippine Constitution Association (Philconsa), said.
President Duterte is expected to lay down his proposed legislative agenda during his State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) on July 22.
Romualdez cited that a number of investors took note of the improved peace and security situation in the country and the President’s implementation of the “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) Program.
“With the President staying just two years in office, the country’s crime rate is at all-time low and the local drug cartels are dismantled. Kidnappings are no longer a thriving industry and peace has been restored in the streets,” he said.
“This the climate that investors are looking for before they decide to pump billions of pesos in our economy. It is no wonder that investor confidence in the Philippines is at all-time high,” he added.
He also noted that the President’s human development and social protection programs are among the reasons for the upsurge of business confidence. These include the free tuition in state universities, free irrigation to farmers, free Internet access in public places, institutionalization of feeding programs for public school students, free medicines, and financial support to indigent patients.
“Investors need a competent workforce for world-class products and services. The investments that we made in human development and social protection are now starting to bear fruit,” Romualdez said