President says country will be resilient

Posted on December 29, 2011

EVEN WITH the global economic slowdown expected next year, the Philippines will stay resilient, the Chief Executive said, as plans have been laid out to cushion the ill effects of the financial turmoil.

Even as he admitted that the country is not immune to the impact of international economic contraction, President Benigno S.C. Aquino III said the government is ready to counteract.

Mr. Aquino said “exploring other markets” is top priority, especially with the negative growth posted by the electronics industry.

Access points have been diversified, he said, to manage risks in export sales.

“We’ve been studying prospects in North and South America, in North Asia and in some ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) partner countries as well,” Mr. Aquino earlier said.

Aside from diversifying markets, the government is also looking forward to gains in public-private partnerships (PPP), although only one project, of the 11 identified early this year, has been bid out.

The P1.96-billion Daang Hari-South Luzon Expressway Link road contract was awarded to winning bidder Ayala Corp., but Mr. Aquino said the construction of at least 20,000 new schoolbuildings will be up for bidding early next year.

More aggressive tourism is also expected to bring in more tourists next year, while increased spending in agriculture will pave the way for rice self-sufficiency by 2013.

The government is targeting a gross domestic product of 5.5%-6.5% next year, below its original goal of 7%-8%. -- Noemi M. Gonzales