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PIA Press Release
2008/02/09

Gov't focuses on microeconomic reforms

By Rose Palacio

Davao City (9 February) -- Presidential Spokesperson and Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said the government is focusing on microeconomic reforms to improve competitiveness, create more jobs, and reduce poverty and hunger.

"With the stabilized fiscal environment, pursuing microeconomic reforms will help the country achieve greater competitiveness, create more jobs, and put food on the table of Filipino families," he said.

"While we are doing well in our macroeconomic reforms particularly on fiscal and monetary policies, we need to follow through with microeconomic reforms to create more jobs, reduce unemployment, poverty and hunger incidence. And the challenges are in the industry and services sectors like airline, ports, shipping, telecommunications and power," he said.

The microeconomic reforms will increase job-creating investments, improve productivity, reduce cost of doing business and enhance global competitiveness.

Among the microeconomic reforms that the government is undertaking are the liberalization of the airline industry, promoting private sector participation in the nautical highway and road transport infrastructure, improving regulatory environment in these industries, and enhancing competition in the power sector.

This is in line with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's State 10-point agenda to improve the country's competitiveness. One is making food plentiful at reasonable prices to make our labor costs globally competitive. Second is reducing the cost of electricity to make the cost running our machines and manufacturing processes regionally competitive. Lower energy cost will put more food on the table of a Filipino family.

Another measure is to modernize physical infrastructure and logistics at the least possible cost to ensure the efficient movement of goods and services. Also there is a need to mobilize and disseminate knowledge to upgrade our technologies and increase our people's productivity. And finally, the government will reduce red tape in all agencies and reduce transactions costs.

Secretary Bunye added that the high cost of doing business in the country has often been linked to structural problems like weak transport and digital infrastructure, logistics system, and high power cost.

"Infrastructure expands markets, which in turn, creates new opportunities for increasing the scale and scope of economic activities and expanding employment," he said. (PIA) [top]

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