DOF to British biz community: Infra – centerpiece of admin’s growth strategy

The British Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (BCCP) hosted “A Year After: Build, Better, More” on July 13, 2023 at the Fairmont Hotel Makati and brought Philippine government and British business representatives together to discuss the key achievements and economic developments a year into the administration of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.

Department of Finance (DOF) Undersecretary Alu C. Dorotan Tiuseco delivered a presentation on behalf of Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno on the high-impact projects and fiscal reforms that will drive economic growth in the medium and long term.

“Smart, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, with its high multiplier effects, will serve as the centerpiece of our growth strategy,” she said.

On March 9, 2023, the PBBM administration approved 194 high-impact infrastructure flagship projects (IFPs) on irrigation, water supply and flood management, digital connectivity, health, power and energy, and agriculture among others.

Some of these projects include the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX) Extension Project, Metro Manila Expressway C6, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Expressway, and the North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR).

With the goal of maintaining infrastructure spending at 5 to 6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) annually, the government will bank on the strategies laid out in the country’s first-ever Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) to reduce the fiscal deficit, promote fiscal sustainability, and enable robust growth.

Undersecretary Dorotan Tiuseco shared that to further liberalize high-growth sectors, the Philippines opened up its renewable energy (RE) sector to full foreign ownership in order to speed up the transition to a sustainable energy mix and raise the share of RE in the power generation mix to 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040.

Companies engaged in solar, wind, hydro, and tidal energy can now invest in the Philippines’ RE sector.

Furthermore, the amendments to the Retail Trade Liberalization Act (RTLA), Foreign Investments Act (FIA), and the Public Service Act (PSA) relaxed foreign restrictions on investments in the country.

During the event, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Joseph J. Capuno gave an overview of the priority IFPs under the administration’s Build, Better, More program.

Updates on transport infrastructure achievements were presented by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Undersecretary Reinier Paul Yebra, while Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Chief of Staff for E-Governance TR Mon Gutierrez and Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Assistant Secretary Romeo Matthew Balanquit gave presentations on digital transformation, the progress of the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA), and the 8-point socio-economic agenda, respectively.

Afterwards, the guest speakers participated in a moderated panel discussion on advancing the infrastructure program to expound on the strategies and initiatives that can further boost economic resilience and sustainable development in the Philippines.

The BCCP is a non-profit organization that represents the British business community in the Philippines, with over 300 member companies and individuals and a membership network of over 1,200 entrepreneurs and senior executives of multinational corporations and SMEs. The Chamber supports the development of business and social interests between the British and Philippine communities.