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Becoming a trillion-dollar economy

President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s (PBBM) report to the Filipino people through the State of the Nation Address (SONA) indicated that the Philippines is on its way to becoming a trillion-dollar economy. It continues to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The numbers speak for themselves. As the President reported, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registered a growth of 7.6 percent in 2022. For 2023, the World Bank projects an overall growth of six percent. First quarter GDP is at 6.4 percent, well within our six to seven percent target for 2023.

The inflation rate, which is one of the challenges that welcomed PBBM upon his assumption to office, continues to ease – from 8.7 percent in January, inflation is at 5.4 percent as of June.

The President cited the significant contribution of the digital economy here, which at ₱2 trillion in 2022 is equivalent of 9.4 percent of our GDP. Our digital transformation efforts will allow us to unleash the full potential of e-commerce.

In line with this, PBBM has tasked the government to “fully embrace digitalization to provide better service to the people,” stressing that digitalizing government services not only improves efficiency and ease of doing business, but also combats graft and corruption.

The President cited the Department of Information and Communications Technology’s (DICT) eGov PH app that will integrate all vital government services in one mobile application. The department will also establish the National Government Portal and the Philippine Business Databank, and must improve the internet speed in our country. Internet speed has been improving. Our fixed broadband speed as of June is 47th amongst 180 countries, which is 11 places higher than last year. While mobile internet speed is ranked 83 out of 142 countries, which is eight places higher than last year’s ranking.

To further improve internet connectivity and speed, digital connectivity is part of the overall infrastructure program of the Marcos Jr. administration. Under the Build Better More Program, 194 infrastructure projects worth ₱8.3 trillion are underway.

Infrastructure development is crucial in our progress, especially as this will enable needed investments on physical and digital connectivity, agriculture, water resources, health, and energy. That is why I am glad that the President committed to maintain infrastructure spending at five to six percent of our GDP.

It is exciting to witness projects continuously unfold such as the Luzon Spine Expressway Network Program that will reduce travel time between Ilocos and Bicol from 20 hours to just nine hours; as well as the Mega-Bridge Program — a series of short and long-span bridges linking island provinces to eventually connect Mindanao and Visayas to Luzon via land travel — that includes the Bataan-Cavite Interlink Bridge, the Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridge, and the Samal Island-Davao City Connector Bridge, among others. These roads and bridges, and other infrastructure projects, will attract more investments, improve connectivity and accessibility, and pump-prime the economy.

We are confident that construction of these projects will be unimpeded as we have the newly established Maharlika Investment Fund that will put to good use underutilized government funds.

With this fund in place, government can make profitable investments and we can be assured of more funding for high-impact projects and other programs that are beneficial to the nation’s economic well-being.

With PBBM at the helm, the Philippines is on track toward the goal of becoming an upper middle-income country.

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