RP girds for slowdown of global economy
By Renee F. De Guzman
San Fernando City, La Union (14 February) -- In a bid to ease the impact of a global economic slowdown and sustain the country's high growth momentum, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is taking bold steps for government to remain "extra vigilant" even as finance officials, economists and market analysts believe that the Philippine economy is in a better condition now to weather outside threat.
Forewarned by the economic ministers of the leading industrial countries in their recent meeting in Tokyo of the threat facing the world's major economies, President Arroyo as an opening statement in the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) – Cabinet Group meeting held recently in Malacañang said, "we are fully focused on the thwarting the threat of a slowdown of the world economy" on the local economy.
The President wants the country to be better prepared to avert the negative repercussions of a global slowdown hence, she cited three action plans that she wants government to implement immediately.
First, is the acceleration of the government's front loading spending program on infrastructure and pro-poor projects to spur economic growth, create an investor-friendly environment and enhance agricultural production.
Another, is to increase the investments on people by boosting support for education and training, especially skills urgently demanded by industries here and abroad in such sectors as construction and the business process outsourcing (BPO).
To ensure that the Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) enjoy the full protection of their welfare, government will also address their concerns.
The President cited the imperative need to address the problems posed by red tape and corruption as the third action plan.
She ordered Trade Secretary Peter Favila and Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya to take immediate steps to address the twin evils of red tape and corruption in the bureaucracy.
Favila heads the Anti-Red Tape Task Force, while Andaya leads the Procurement Transparency Group.
To implement reforms in the bureaucracy, the President directed the two cabinet secretaries to coordinate with the private sector, business community, academe and the religious groups.
She cited the need to work together in the midst of external threats to attain peace and stability to sustain economic prosperity. (PIA La Union) [top]