MANILA— The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said the government is united and resolute in maintaining a strong business environment to sustain and accelerate economic growth.
Citing a report by Fitch Ratings affirming the favorable growth outlook, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said the BBB rating with a stable outlook is in line with government’s direction under the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2017-2022.
“The PDP 2017-2022 has set the course of the Philippines to become an upper middle income country in a couple of years’ time. We thank Fitch for their recognition of the administration’s efforts,” Pernia said.
He added that crucial reforms that will spur economic growth include the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act or TRAIN. The first package has already been rolled out and has increased the spending capacity of Filipinos besides markedly raising tax revenues.
TRAIN is the first phase of the government’s Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP), which will ensure a simpler, fairer, and more equitable tax system.
“We expect the passage of the second package soon. Among others, it will lower corporate income taxes and rationalise fiscal incentives. Overall, the CTRP will also boost the country’s revenue-to-GDP ratio,” he said.
Secretary Pernia also noted the recent passage of the Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 (RA 11032).
“The Ease of Doing Business Act should make government and business transactions faster, thereby improving the country’s overall business environment to the satisfaction of the citizenry. Also, we have already completed the draft streamlined 11th Foreign Investment Negative List, which is now with the President for signature,” he said.
Secretary Pernia added that the government’s massive infrastructure program, Build, Build, Build, will further contribute to economic progress. “It will ramp up public spending in the next four years, and will help reduce inequality by connecting the regions, generating jobs, and encouraging more investments in the country, with attention to the lagging regions” he said.