By Chino S. Leyco
The Department of Finance (DOF) said that “game-changing” reforms will be pursued by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in the final half of his administration to sustain high and inclusive growth and finally unlock Mindanao’s vast economic potentials.
Speaking at a recent forum in Davao City, Finance Undersecretary Gil S. Beltran said Mindanao’s economic unfolding, investment in infrastructure, agri-business, tourism, manufacturing, transportation and logistics are at the forefront of the reforms.
“The Philippine economy was about P17.4 trillion in 2018, of which 15.2 percent was contributed by Mindanao. I truly believe that Mindanao can sustain this high growth and be able to contribute more for the country’s development,” Beltran said.
“And I think this is among our marching orders: To unleash and realize the potentials of the Land of Promise,” he added.
Beltran likewise pointed out that over the past five years, the Philippine economy grew by an average 6.4 percent per year, while Mindanao’s average growth was higher at 6.7 percent during the same period.
Among the regions in Mindanao, Davao, the President’s home city, has the highest growth rate at 9.3 percent.
Mindanao, he said, can benefit immensely during this “golden age of economic reforms” under the Duterte administration.
Beltran, the DOF’s chief economist, said that “at no time in our history has there been a barrage of reforms” approved or implemented to bolster the economy.
In 2018 alone, he said these reforms included the tax reform for acceleration and inclusion (TRAIN), the ease of doing business act, national ID system, rice tariffication law, and private property security act.
Beltran also made special mention of the passage of the Bangsamoro organic law, which he hoped “will allow the rest of Mindanao to fly and soar like the Davao eagle.”
“But the Duterte administration is not resting on its laurels. The government will continue to adopt reforms, implement programs to boost economic growth,” Beltran said.