Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said in a press briefing on Wednesday (June 6) that the administration of Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has set “more ambitious targets” for the Philippine economy in contrast to the previous term of Rodrigo Duterte.
“We want to show the world that we’re conscious of having sound fiscal management,” Diokno mentioned.
“If I remember right, it started at around 25% during Duterte’s first year in office…. But our target under this framework is that [the] poverty rate will be down to 9 percent by 2028,” he said. “Mas ambisyoso kami eh…kasi maraming bagong reporma eh (We are more ambitious because there are more reforms).”
In contrast, the population poverty incidence during 1H 2021 was at 23.7 percent according to a statement of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). In simpler words, Marcos wants to lift 15 in 100 Filipinos out of poverty.
Despite this ambitious remark, however, they project that this year’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be at a mere 6.5-7.5 percent this year – lower than the Duterte admin’s forecast of 7-8 percent. Duterte’s economic team originally anticipated 7-9 percent growth for 2022.
Although in the longer run for 2023 to 2028, Marcos’s economic team anticipates a 6.5-8 percent growth in economic output. They also aim to decrease the debt-to-GDP ratio down to 60 percent, and decrease the fiscal deficit down to 3 percent of output by 2026.
Just days before, Marcos was criticized by some social media users for disagreeing with the Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) reported inflation rate of 6.1 percent – a basic macroeconomic concept.
Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.
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