House says 6% growth doable

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    The House leadership remains confident a growth of six percent or faster remains doable even if the World Bank (WB) has projected a 5.8 percent growth for the economy this year.

    Deputy speaker for finance Luis Raymund Villafuerte of Camarines Sur, a member of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC), said the six percent target of President Duterte’s economic team is possible by ramping up state spending in the last quarter of the year.

    Villafuerte said the LEDAC needs to discuss measures that can be passed to help the Executive accelerate state spending, especially in infrastructure and human capital development, and further stimulate growth in the remaining two months and a half of the year.

    “We need to further expedite the implementation of ‘Build, Build, Build’ (program) – given infrastructure development’s great multiplier effects on the economy – in order to boost growth in the last quarter,” he said in a statement.

    He added the relatively good weather is conducive for speed up work in public sector construction.

    Villafuerte said the 5.8 percent growth rate for the Philippines projected by the WB is still commendable, because it still means the economy is among the fastest-growing in Asia and the world.

    He added that tempered growth projection for the country is not unexpected, as growth in first two quarters were “hobbled” by the delay in the passage of the 2019 national budget in the House during the previous Congress.

    With the House’s early transmission of the 2020 General Appropriations Bill (GAB) to the Senate before the October 3 to November 4 break, Villafuerte said Congress is on target to submit a consolidated bill to President Duterte for his signature before the yearend.