Duterte peace, dev’t efforts commended

LEYTE Rep. Martin Romualdez has lauded President Rodrigo Duterte for improving  peace and order and pushing  an infrastructure program.

Romualdez, one of the Speakership wanna-bes, said these two factors were behind the country’s economic growth in the last three years.

“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 said.

And because of this, Romualdez has reminded his colleagues that it is the  duty of the 18th Congress to help sustain the successes of the President’s programs and projects by acting favorably and swiftly on the proposed legislative agenda which the Chief Executive is expected to outline in his State of the Nation Address on July 22.

“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, president of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (CMD), said.

“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 added.

The Leyte solon shared that a number of investors he had talked with expressed confidence about the country’s economic prospects due to the success of the President’s war against crime as well as the breakthrough in his peace efforts in Mindanao.

“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,” Romualdez pointed out.

“This is 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.

Aside from improved peace and order, the Leyte solon said investors also cited the ambitious infrastructure development program of President Duterte as one of the reasons for the upsurge in business confidence.

The “Build, Build, Build” (BBB) Program seeks to accelerate infrastructure spending and develop industries that will yield robust growth, create jobs and improve the lives of Filipinos. Public spending on infrastructure projects is targeted at P8 to 9 trillion from 2017 to 2022.

Key infrastructure projects under the BBB Program include six airports, nine railways, three bus rapid transits, 32 roads and bridges network, and four seaports that will help bring down the costs of production, improve rural incomes, encourage countryside investments, make the movement of goods and people more efficient, and create more jobs.

The Duterte administration, according to Romualdez, has also scored points in the “Roads Leveraging Linkages for Industry and Trade Program,” which was developed to create and enhance industry-developing infrastructure in priority economic and manufacturing zones.