Dominguez says hefty investments fueling PH's rapid growth

MANILA -- Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said in a statement on Tuesday that the Philippines continues to be among the best performing economies in Asia, on the strength of higher foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and rising capital formation.

Dominguez said a significant increase in revenues, resulting from tax administration reforms and the implementation of the first package of the Duterte administration’s comprehensive tax reform program (CTRP), has enabled the government to maintain its high level of spending needed to sustain the momentum of the country’s investment-led growth.

Moreover, hefty personal income tax (PIT) cuts under this first CTRP package -- the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law -- will let the administration grow the country’s middle class and thus put on track its path towards an upper middle-income economy by 2022, Dominguez said.

Dominguez told economic journalists the Duterte administration will push the congressional approval this year of the rest of its tax reform packages to complete its goal of laying "the strongest foundations" for the country’s sustained and inclusive long-term growth.

“The reform of our tax policy is meant not only to ensure government a reliable revenue base but, more importantly, to enhance the modernization of our economy. This is the historic significance of this reform program. It will have lasting effects on our economic performance for many decades to come,” Dominguez said during the 2nd Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) Forum held Tuesday at the Ayuntamiento de Manila building of the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) in Intramuros, Manila.

Dominguez said that, “If we do not modernize our infrastructure today and if we do not modernize our tax policy this year, we cannot possibly sustain our pace of growth. We cannot become the dynamic and inclusive economy that is the norm for our region."

During the forum, Dominguez appealed to economic journalists not just to chronicle the news, but to put in context and in the proper perspective their reporting on the reforms, some of them "not necessarily popular," that the government is undertaking to help the public appreciate the long-term gains of such efforts to maintain fiscal stability and drive high -- and inclusive -- growth.

“Managing our fiscal stability sometimes requires doing things that are not necessarily popular. But it is only because the public fails to fully appreciate the long-term gains of doing them. I hope our economic journalists will help us convey the long view for the reforms we are now undertaking,” Dominguez said. (DOF PR)