By Melissa Luz T. Lopez, Reporter

Good governance, reforms spurring inclusive growth -- Aquino

Posted on September 12, 2015

PRESIDENT Benigno S.C. Aquino III touted the gains of his administration anew before the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) on Friday, stressing that institutional changes have spurred inclusive growth.

Mr. Aquino named landmark laws and programs signed during his term before the PECC General Meeting held in Hotel Sofitel in Pasay City, where key government, business, and civic leaders are gathered for a three-day discussion among Asia Pacific nations.

Investments made by his administration to citizens, he said, would drive the country forward.

He cited in particular the government’s conditional cash transfer program with 4.4 million families covered, and the expanded basic education curriculum or K+12 as tools to “empower” Filipinos.

“This strategy and the success it has wrought in my country is proof positive of the simple fact that economic progress is inseparable from the progress of the people,” Mr. Aquino said in his opening speech.

“Good governance works. Reform works.”

The Philippine president also touted policies designed to improve the ease of doing business here, namely the law allowing the full entry of foreign banks, the national competition law, and the amendments to the Cabotage Law to allow ships to go directly to local ports.

Other focus areas of the government moving forward, he said, include boosting competitiveness through the business process outsourcing and manufacturing industries, which are in a boom.

Mr. Aquino also vowed to increase infrastructure spending to 5% of gross domestic product -- this, amid continued underspending by the government.

This year marks the Philippines’ second hosting of the PECC, the last being in 1999. Policymakers and experts from the region have gathered to discuss common issues and problems among member-states.

This week’s meeting is a run-up to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting also to be held in Manila in November.