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Manila accelerates spending for infra, social projects

Publication Date : 19-03-2014


The Aquino administration has committed 4.17 trillion pesos (about 93 million US dollars) worth of public investments in the remainder of its term to make the benefits of the growing Philippine economy trickle down the poor.

Arsenio Balisacan, director general of the Philippines' National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said the government acknowledged that gains from the expanding economy remained exclusive to the middle class and the rich and that it vowed to help address this situation through higher public investments.

“The proportion of the poor has remained high from 2003 to 2009 despite modest economic growth during the period. Poverty rate dropped to 25.2 per cent in 2012 (from 26.3 per cent three years before], but we had a setback last year,” Balisacan said in a speech during an economic forum organized by the Investor Relations Office on Tuesday.

Last year, poverty incidence was expected to have risen from the 2012 level due to the adverse impact of an earthquake that hit the Visayas in October and Supertyphoon Yolanda  (Haiyan)that struck in November.

The biggest share of 2.46 trillion pesos in the planned public expenditure is meant for various infrastructure projects that will boost investments and will make rural areas and tourism destinations more accessible.

The second-biggest share of 733.14 million pesos is intended for projects and programs on social development, particularly education, skills training and health.

The balance will be used to fund other initiatives meant to help achieve inclusive growth such as projects and programs that will make disaster-prone areas resilient, those that will encourage innovation in the services and industry sectors, and those aimed at instituting reforms in the bureaucracy.


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