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PIA Press Release

Commentary: If 2006 is a good year, 2007 will be a better year for RP

Tacloban City (November 2) -– If 2006 is a good year for the country, 2007 will be a better year with the expected acceleration of the economy.

The optimistic expectation on the acceleration of the economy comes on the back of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s firm determination to bring economic gains for the country, the economic, fiscal and other policy reforms, including the imposition of a higher value added tax (VAT) and the Natural Attrition Law.

Indeed the Philippine economy is on track to grow between 5.5 and 6.5 percent in 2007, up from 5 percent in 2005 and higher than the government projection of 5.6 per cent for 2006.

The Philippine Peso rose Monday to its highest level in four years at P49.73 to the US dollar.

Assessing the Philippine economy this year, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has described 2006 as a "very good year" for the country. Ifzal Ali, ADB chief economist, projected that the Philippine economic growth, boosted by the agricultural sector, would hit 5.4 percent this year.

"Agriculture production was strong in the first half and industry performed better than expected. This dampened inflation pressures," the ADB economist said.

President Arroyo’s Administration had taken various steps to make the Philippines investment-friendly, and to ensure the security and competitiveness of foreign investments.

Moreso, the government’s signing of an international pact against corruption firms up its commitment to an unrelenting campaign to clean up the bureaucracy. The Bureau of Internal Revenue has also intensified its campaign against tax cheat by working closely with the local government units.

There is increased optimism in the country’s economy as higher growth rates and lower inflation are seen for next year. These are clear indications that the Philippines is on its way to a strong economic take off in 2007. (PIA 8) [top]

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