Security Bank President & CEO Sanjiv Vohra, said that the Philippines is in a better position to withstand the economic impact of the pandemic, citing reports from The Economist as well as the country’s improved revenue flows, tax reforms and wise spending.
“Overall, the Philippines is said to be in a good position to withstand the economic impact of COVID-19. We’ve been ranked sixth by the UK’s Economist newspaper among other emerging global economies. The country’s fiscal and economic strength borne out of improved revenue flows, tax reforms, debt management, and wise spending and investing, have served us well,” Vohra said.
Security Bank last week held its first online forum to discuss the impact of COVID-19 in the economy, economic outlook and recovery plans.
Appearing as the main keynote speaker of the event was Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, who projected a strong economic rebound of around 6.5-7.5 percent GDP growth in 2021.
Dominguez, who has been vocal on its projection on the country’s economic curve, reiterated the need to find the balance between safety and the economy to ensure the country’s continued growth at the time of the pandemic.
“Even as we navigate through ongoing circumstances, we intend to maintain fiscal discipline, make our financial sector more inclusive and introduce more reforms that will help us consolidate and progress this environment,” Dominguez said.
Dominguez highlighted the four legislative imperatives to revive the economy and bring it back to its robust position. This includes seeking congressional approval to infuse additional capital to government financial institutions, allowing banks to dispense of non-performing loans and assets through asset management companies, immediate passing of the CREATE Act, and providing greater support to the agriculture sector.
“CREATE is not industry-specific. It is to reduce the tax rate for all companies, not only big foreign companies. That is a reduction from 30 percent CIT to 25 percent, and further reductions down the road. That will provide the economy with the biggest stimulus if ever.
This proves that the government is trusting the private sector,” Dominguez added.
Meanwhile, Security Bank’s Chairman Alberto Villarosa opened the forum by describing the situation through the acronym VUCA and thanking the event’s guest for allowing Security Bank to make them more informed of the situation and be well-equipped to handle what’s coming.
“We are certainly facing something we have not faced before, at least not in our lifetime.
This is something totally new and unknown. What best describes this current situation comes from the US Military College, the acronym VUCA which means volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. We believe that the more you know, the better your chances to not only survive, but thrive in these trying times,” Villarosa said.
Each year, the bank organizes an economic forum as part of its efforts to arm business leaders with information that will guide them in making the best business and financial decisions. The bank conducted its first economic roadshow last year and visited six key investment hubs nationwide to provide insights straight from the experts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank decided to hold its forum online.
Over 700 clients and stakeholders nationwide joined the forum.