PGMA's legacy: fiscal prudence
Manila (29 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is exerting all efforts to leave a legacy of fiscal prudence to her successor.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita made the observation in a press briefing held today in Malacaņang to squelch speculations that the next president will inherit a bankrupt government.
He said President Arroyo had initially intended to balance the budget before her term ends in 2010. This goal, however, proved unattainable when the country had to pump-prime the economy in the face of the global economic meltdown that drove its major trading partners notably, the United States and Japan, into recession last year.
She increased infrastructure spending to provide laid off Filipinos with jobs, even as she beefed up financial assistance to the poorest of the poor.
Ermita acknowledged that the huge amount needed to embark on the reconstruction program in the aftermath of three consecutive typhoons since September this year will aggravate the situation.
"The President, with the help of her economic team, is doing everything to put the fiscal position in order," Ermita said. I don't see any president wishing to leave a legacy of uncertainty to the successor."
Ermita pointed out that, based on the economic briefing given the President every week, he sees the economy improving and the global recession easing up.
This year, the World Bank projects the Philippine gross domestic products or total domestic output will grow by one percent. (PIA) [top]