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Diokno bares Marcos six-year plan

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 05:46 AM July 07, 2022
New Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno. STORY: Diokno bares Marcos six-year plan

New Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno during a press briiefing at the Malacanang Palace. (MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno on Wednesday bared glimpses of an ambitious six-year plan where the Marcos administration hopes to hit an average annual growth rate of 6.5 percent to 8 percent and reduce poverty incidence to 9 percent.

At the daily press briefing in Malacañang, Diokno said he could not disclose details of the administration’s “Medium-Term Fiscal Framework,” because President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will outline the plan in his State of the Nation Address on July 25.

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“This framework … will set the tone or will be our game plan for the next six years,” said Diokno, who has been among the economic managers of the administrations of former President Joseph Estrada and former President Rodrigo Duterte.

“This is the first time that this government, or any government of the Philippines, has presented such a game plan,” he said. “We want to show the world that we are conscious of having a sound fiscal management.”

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Responding to concerns about inflation, Diokno said the government “cannot cut inflation overnight,” especially since it is driven by events outside of the country, but the government has a menu of measures to gradually lower inflation.

Measures

“[One] measure that we will do is we will continue the grant of the fuel subsidy to the affected parties like the drivers, the farmers and the fisherfolks. The other measure is that we will continue the importation of products which are in short supply, as has been done before,” he said.

Diokno said the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas expects “elevated” inflation for the next few months, but prices should stabilize beginning next year. (See related stories in Business, Pages B1 and B2.)Diokno said the government is also aiming to achieve an “upper middle-income” status for the country which would mean reaching a per capita income of $4,046 by the end of the President’s term.

Under the plan, the annual growth target from 2023 to 2028 will range from 6.5 percent to 8 percent, assuming that the economy would grow by 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent this year.But Diokno was confident of the economy’s growth this year.

“In fact, this is going to be the highest. The consensus is that this will be the highest growth rate among all Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Plus Three countries this year and next year. That’s the consensus,” he said.

Poverty, national debt

The Marcos administration also aims to substantially reduce poverty incidence from 17 percent before the pandemic to 9 percent by 2028.

The plan also aims to bring down the national debt load from the current 63 percent of gross national product to just 60 percent by 2025.

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Diokno said he will also strive to cut the government’s budget deficit ratio to 3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) starting 2025 or 2026 all the way up to 2028. He said the ratio ballooned during the pandemic to around 9 percent.

The Marcos administration also hopes to increase infrastructure spending to some 5 percent to 6 percent of GDP, including about 80 identified projects for public-private partnerships.

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Bongbong Marcos admin aims to cut poverty rate to 9% by end of term – DOF chief

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TAGS: Benjamin Diokno, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Medium-Term Fiscal Framework
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