Diokno counters Duterte: Hard facts show economy is good
“Hard facts” would show that the economy is not in the doldrums, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said on Wednesday, countering a statement made by his boss, President Rodrigo Duterte.
“You look at the facts, not the impressions, not perceptions, but the hard facts,” Diokno said at a press conference.
“You will be convinced that it’s not the case. Look at numbers—the public sector now is one of the drivers of GDP [gross domestic product] and economic activity,” he said.
The Department of Budget and Management reported that government spending on infrastructure jumped 42.4 percent year-on-year to P280.8 billion from January to May.
But last Friday, the President claimed that “the economy is in the doldrums” as he said economic activity was stagnating in the provinces.
On Monday, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the President had observed that provinces were lagging behind in terms of progress and projects.
‘Ask the Palace’
Asked why the President had such a perception, Diokno replied: “I don’t know, quite frankly. I don’t want to comment. Ask the Palace.”
Further pressed to comment why President Duterte’s statement seemed to contradict economic managers’, Diokno said: “Let’s leave it at that: Look at the facts.”
Diokno said he was not worried that investors would be deterred by the President’s statement.
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