Raising the Next Tiger: The New Admin’s Economic Priorities

The Stratbase Albert Del Rosario Institute (ADRi) held an economic forum entitled, “Raising the Next Tiger: The New Administration’s Economic Priorities” on September 28th, 2016 at The Tower Club.

The forum focused on the new Duterte administration’s promises to bring change to the various economic sectors and constituencies around the Philippines, committing to promote agriculture, manufacturing, and rural development and jolt national infrastructure spending. The administration’s plans are encapsulated in a 10-point agenda laid out in June, ranging from the maintenance of current macroeconomic policy to agricultural productivity and security of land tenure, to human development and social protection programs. Both ambitious and admirable, the 10-point agenda has been hailed as a decisive economic manifesto whose results could be transformative.

Today, more than two months since the President’s inauguration, the institute found it timely to examine the Duterte government’s first steps in implementing this agenda, and better understand its priorities now that it is in office and well away from the campaign trail. At present, the economic agencies of government are hard at work in drafting more detailed plans and portfolios and the next medium-term development plan to be released in 2017. This moment provides an opportunity for a vast array of stakeholders to be kept informed of the government’s actions and to provide their input into the new economic policies.

The first session of the forum highlighted the economic outlook of the Philippines and the spending and tax policies of the Administration. The first presenter was Mr. Aekapol Chongvilaivan, the Country Economist, Philippines Country Office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Meanwhile Secretary Benjamin Diokno provided a detailed analysis of the fiscal policies and priorities of the Duterte Administration.

Mr. George Barcelon, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mr. Calixto Chikiamco, President of the Foundation for Economic Freedom; and Ambassador Donald Dee, President of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines were discussants of the first session.

As for the second session, it was opened by Mr. Diwa Guinigundo, Deputy Governor for Monetary Stability of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP). He provided an in-depth evaluation of the current economic conditions of the Philippines and provided an outlook on its implications for monetary policy.

Mr. Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., President of the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc.; Mr. George Chua, President of the Financial Executives of the Philippines; Ambassador Amanda Gorely, Ambassador of Australia to the Philippines; and Ms. Yurika Suzuki, Associate Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Developing Economies of the Japan External Trade Organization were the panelists of the second session.

Both sessions were moderated by Atty. Tony Abad, President and CEO of Trade Advisors.

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