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PIA Press Release

Private sector, development partners, donors remain bullish on RP economic growth

Manila (4 May) -- Citing improved economic indicators and the dedication of a leader to grow the economy, the private sector led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and the countryís development partners and donors have signified their "enthusiasm and interest" in continuing to be partners of the national government in pursuing development projects that would further improve the economy and eradicate poverty.

In their response to the call of the government for more private sector and business community participation in the "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects that would spur development and economic growth in the five super regions development plan of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during the 2nd National Government Infrastructure Forum held today at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City, the PCCI and the development partners and donors expressed their "continued support" to the economic development of the country.

PCCI Chairman Ambassador Donald Dee said the improved macroeconomic indicators have "made investors look at the Philippines."

While noting that the government funding for infrastructure has doubled at present compared to 10 years ago, Dee said the government, in partnership with the private sector, must allot more funds for infrastructure projects.

Stressing that vital infrastructures have to be in place to further grow the economy and thus eradicate poverty, he urged the government for more coordination in the infrastructure planning and implementation.

He specifically called for the strengthening of the roll-on, roll-off (Ro-Ro) nautical highway as the Ro-Ro "is part of all of these infrastructure projects," referring to infrastructure projects lined up by the government for the development of the countryís five super regions.

"There is a lot of work coordination that has to be done. The PCCI offers its support," Dee said as he committed that the 98 local chambers could be used, with "warm bodies to help you."

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Jon Lindborg stressed "urgency in terms of the implementation of the many development projects in the Philippines" to finally propel the economy that has many potentials to be globally competitive.

"Two years since Iíve been here, Iíve seen progress," he said as he noted that there are "many constraints and challenges" in the implementation of infrastructure projects.

Among these is the issue on privatization, where he noted "bureaucrats should not be in business usually."

Lindborg said "the stakes are high" but there are three things he wants the government and the private sector to put in mind: first, without infrastructure, no economy grows; second, without infrastructure, no poverty reduction; and third, infrastructure is so important in economic growth but there is also the need to devote time and effort in the soft infrastructure for progress which is peace and security.

"The critical approach is to ensure transparency, fair competition and sanctity of contracts," he said.

He also reiterated the US governmentís "continued support" to the Philippine government. (OPS/PIA) [top]

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»Private sector, development partners, donors remain bullish on RP economic growth
»PMS head bares PGMA's "sense of urgency" in completing infrastructure projects
»TESDA, Samahang Plaridel forge partnership
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