Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea (File photo)

MANILA – Despite the economic and social disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a Palace official on Tuesday said he believes that the Duterte government’s “game-changing reforms” implemented before and during the health crisis helped shape a better future for the economy and people.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea trumpeted the Duterte administration’s socioeconomic reform agenda during the Philippine Economic Briefing (PEB) at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Carrying the theme, “Six Years of Institutionalizing Game Changing Reforms and Shaping the New Economy”, the PEB tackled the Duterte administration’s socioeconomic reforms over the past six years, including the government’s effort to accelerate economic recovery amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Medialdea spoke of how these reforms helped pursue inclusive economic growth in the Philippines which according to him, “not only measured by statistics, but can be seen, touched, and felt by the Filipino people.”

“These reforms not only benefit our people today but also set the foundations for more resilient and sustainable growth and broadly-shared prosperity,” he said in his speech.

He cited how Duterte, even before assuming office, announced a 10-point socioeconomic agenda that subsequently increased the net take-home pay of workers, lowered the taxes of corporations, rationalized the fiscal incentive system, increased the Philippines’ competitiveness, promoted financial inclusion and digitalization, and improved the ease of doing business in the country.

The economic team presented Duterte's socioeconomic agenda to the business community at a two-day conference in Davao City in June 2016.

With these reforms, Medialdea expressed confidence that the country would gradually recover after a major pandemic-related downturn in 2020.

“The pandemic disrupted the Philippines’ accelerated path to upper-middle income status but we are confident that the disruption is only temporary,” he added.

He vowed that the Duterte administration will continue to build a market-friendly policy environment that reflects the shared vision and aspirations of the business, youth, and civil society sectors.

“While many challenges remain, I am confident that we have shaped a better future for our economy and our people. The Duterte administration will continue to work towards a smooth transition and leave public office with stronger foundations in place for inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” he added.

During the PEB, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez provided updates on the fiscal performance of the country while Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno presented the latest developments in the country’s monetary, external, and financial sectors. (PNA)