By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – The Philippines is “on track” to achieve economic prosperity, Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said on Thursday, as she encouraged more European investors in the country.
In her opening remarks during the 2023 Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) in London, England, Pangandaman touted the country’s robust economic performance despite global headwinds and challenges.
“The time to invest in the Philippines is now. We have a hardworking administration. We have high economic growth,” the Budget chief said.
“As you can see, the Philippines is now not just open for business, but we mean business. We not only meet but surpass economic targets,” she added.
The Marcos administration, Pangandaman said, is focused on realizing its bid for an “inclusive and sustainable” economic transformation.
Pangandaman noted that the Philippine government’s priority expenditures for 2023 support its eight-point socioeconomic agenda and the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028.
To sustain economic growth, around PHP2 trillion or 38 percent of the PHP5.268 trillion national budget for this year will go to the social services sector, Pangandaman said.
She added that the government is putting a premium on education, infrastructure development, health, agriculture and social protection.
“To make the Philippines an investment destination, we need to create an environment that enables economic growth. Hence, we are keen on building not just public and social infrastructure but also digital infrastructure,” Pangandaman said.
Pangandaman said the Marcos administration has also invested “heavily” in renewable energy infrastructure and alternative resources that will contribute to the country’s sustainable development.
She said the 2023 budget for climate change adaptation and mitigation is higher by 56.4 percent from the previous year’s allocation.
She added that the government is also pursuing a green public procurement roadmap and striving to build an “agile, efficient, and more responsive government workforce.”
“We are on track with our economic prosperity and I am confident that as long as we stay on the path, we will also achieve our target of single-digit poverty levels and upper-middle income class as planned,” Pangandaman said.
Pangandaman, along with other Philippine economic managers, flew to Europe to conduct the 2023 PEB, which serves as a platform to present the economic situation and investment opportunities in the Philippines.
The PEB Europe leg covers Frankfurt in Germany and London. (PNA)