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  • Writer's pictureBy Lito U. Gagni

Cong. Joey Unveils Economic Growth Playbook

Updated: Apr 13

Once again, Cong. Joey Sarte Salceda, the maverick Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means, unveiled an economic growth playbook for the Philippines that addresses old problems with an innovative approach, showing promise for the economy.


Congressman Joey Sarte Salceda presents his innovative economic growth playbook for the Philippines at the Monday Circle financial forum, offering new solutions to old problems and promising a brighter future for the economy. | Photo: Monday Circle

He listed several methods of solving the country’s economic woes at the launch of the Monday Circle financial forum, his arguments showing deep economic thinking, in turn debunking the positions of the think tanks in government.

In doing so, he offers new ways of grappling with what are hitherto perceived as messy economic problems.

For one, he debunked the assertion of the Development Budget Coordination Committee, which reviews the Philippines’ economic future, citing that the projections on economic growth are not consistent with the readings done by foreign rating agencies, especially on the lower band of the growth rate, which now stands adjusted at 6.5 to 7.5 percent.

“Don’t read too much into it,” he told the forum as he enumerated the huge possibilities for the country, given its high fertility rate, for one, and the fact that a high growth rate of 8 percent and 8.1 percent was achieved in the last two quarters of the Arroyo administration, where he was an adviser.

Salceda asserts that the Philippines will record faster growth in the region, save for Vietnam.

He pointed out as a caveat, though, the need for continued government investments, especially in infrastructure.

In this regard, he cited the enactment of the PPP (public-private partnership) which he authored, ensuring the government need not issue sovereign guarantees for private sector initiatives.

“The PPP Code, whose IRR was just signed recently, will doubtless encourage more private sector investments in infrastructure,” he said.

“To LGUs, we transferred as much as P16 trillion in net fiscal space, in present value terms, over the next 30 years. The PPP Code will help leverage that fiscal space by making it easier for them to engage in PPPs with the private sector."

He also said that projections on the purported risk for the Philippines with China slowing down are not accurate.

“President Marcos’s strategic realignment back to the West and to Japan means, from a geostrategic standpoint, we are also less susceptible to getting affected by a China slowdown,” he said.

One development that augurs well for a boost in LGU infra projects is the possibility of blended financing with ODA or official development assistance. This holds much promise for the country in terms of infra spending that adds to the growth trajectory.

To buttress his point, he said the slowdown in China will mean a lower inflation rate for the Philippines as that country pursues its subsidy program for its exports.

He cited the assertion from US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that China will continue to subsidize its imports, which will indirectly affect the inflation rate in the country, given the 23 percent share of China imports.

Salceda bared before the Monday Circle forum a way for the government to increase the minimum wage to P1,000 and still achieve its growth rates.

Here, he cited the government's moves on PSALM which resulted in the lowering of its P1.3 trillion debt to P267 billion.

Next: Salceda’s innovative take on having the P1,000 minimum wage.


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