PGMA: Gov't to spend P1 trillion for Medium-Term Public Investment Program
Manila (18 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assured today the government has the resources to finance its Medium-Term Public Investment Program.
In a speech at the Electronics Strategic Forum for the Philippines at the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, the President said the government is allocating P1 trillion for its MTPI program in the country's so-called "super regions."
"May pondo na tayo para gumastos ng dagdag na sandaang bilyon piso bawat taon – or P1 trillion for our Medium-Term Public Investment Program (MTPIP) – to enhance the natural competitive advantages of the natural sub-economies or 'super regions' of the Philippines," she announced.
The forum was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) and the STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific.
In allocating P1 trillion for the 10-year MTPIP, the President stressed that the government is determined to raise infrastructure spending-to-GDP ratio to 4.5 percent, which is the ASEAN average.
"Imprastraktura ang haliging nagtitindig hindi lamang ng ating makabagong ekonomiya: mga kalsada, tulay, paliparan, and power plants," she pointed out.
The President said her administration is investing P3 billion in science and engineering research and development technology, including scholarships for masters and doctoral degrees in engineering in seven universities.
She said she had instructed the Department of Education (DepEd) to "fast-track English training among our grade school teachers – including principals."
The President revealed that Finance Secretary Margarito Teves "just reported to me the good news that we posted a budget surplus for the month of August" and that "for the first time in decades, less of our revenue is being used to service debt, and more towards investment in our country's infrastructure and social services, including education and healthcare."
"The foundation of our economic comeback is wide, deep and solid. Across the board, the nation's economy is pointed in the right direction, and for all the right reasons. The elements of the broad-based success are built on many things, and with the help of many people, institutions and economic contributors, notable among these is the electronics industry," she explained.
The President pointed out the importance of the electronics industry to the economy, saying it accounts for two-thirds of the country's exports and employing half a million people in well-paying jobs.
"In the creation of jobs, nothing beats the information technology industry – call centers, business process outsourcing, and electronics," she said.
The Philippines supplies 50 percent of the world's requirements for 2.5-inch hard disk drives, and 10 percent of the 3.5-inch hard disk drives produced by the top three global suppliers – Fujitsu, Toshiba and Hitachi.
Texas instruments, on the other hand, produces 100 percent of Nokia digital signal processors, and 80 percent of Siemens' and Erickson's digital signal processors. (OPS) [top]