Eyes on ‘Build, Better, More’
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is banking on the “Build, Better, More” flagship infrastructure program as “the pinnacle” of his administration’s vision “for an equitable, prosperous, and resilient Philippines by 2040.”
In his opening remarks before the High-Level Dialogue-Investing in Infrastructure for Resilience in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, Marcos emphasized that the Philippine economic growth is expected to reach the rate of at least 7 percent for last year.
“The Philippine economy will post growth of at least 7 percent for last year, the highest in ASEAN and one of the highest in the Asia-Pacific region, supported by strong macroeconomic fundamentals and prudent fiscal policies,” Marcos told delegates of the World Economic Forum.
“We have been making connectivity a priority whether traditionally by land, sea, and air. And now of course, in the digital and meta realm.”
Despite “uncertainties,” Marcos said his government “welcome(s) this year with guarded optimism as positive indicators point to a better than expected end-of-year economic performance on our end.”
“Whether natural or man-made, such disruptions and breakdowns have catastrophic implications for global business,” he said.
“So I’m pleased to share with you that this government, that I have been putting together has put forth policies and executed strategies intended to boost both robustness and resilience of often quite complex interconnected global supply and production chains.”
Recognizing the essence of alleviating the impact of climate change on economic growth, Marcos said his administration is aiming to allocate 15 percent of the next national budget to fund programs aimed to fight climate change.
“To this end, it is our top priority to design and build climate-resilient infrastructure, programs and projects,” he said.
“We have allocated 9 percent of our national budget towards initiatives to support conservation, climate change adaptation, and disaster risk reduction. I have committed to work to increase this figure to an average of 15 percent annually,” he added.
Marcos trumpeted his trust in the country’s private sector, saying that the Private Sector Advisory Council that he created is intended to strengthen the partnership between the government and the private sector.
“We recognize the critical role of the private sector partners to enable the realization of these high goals,” he said.
“We have created a Private Sector Advisory Council, some members who are here with us and we have formulated many strategies so that we can position the Philippines properly for the development and evolution of the new global economy,” he pointed out.
The chief executive noted that to address concerns about public-private partnerships, lawmakers amended the “Build-Operate-Transfer” Law.
“The recent amendments to our Build-Operate-Transfer Law address concerns regarding the financial viability and bankability of public-private partnerships and the concerns on potential delays that might impede implementation,” he said.
“We aim to raise the confidence of investors, especially those that will benefit the social sectors of health, education, and agriculture.”
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