Finance chief: GDP growth sign of increasing investor confidence

Jarius Bondoc - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines — Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said that the growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) is a sign of increasing investor confidence.

The economy grew by 6.9 percent in the first quarter of the year, the fastest among 11 selected Asian economies and outpacing China for the first time in 27 years.

READ: Phl GDP hits 6.9% in Q1 2016, fastest among major Asian economies

"We are leaving the Philippines in a much better place than when we first found it. The long night of vicious cycles is over: echoing President Ronal Reagan, I think it's morning again in the Philippines," Purisima said in a statement.

Purisima added that the leadership of President Benigno Aquino III created a cycle of great economics that has set a sustainable path to prosperity.

The Finance chief said that Aquino's legacy will be remembered for "empowering Filipinos to believe that we can do and be better."

"No longer the sick man of Asia, the Philippines emerges more confident and more optimistic than ever, demanding to be governed by even higher standards of governance than before," the Finance chief said.

Purisima noted that the incoming administration of Rodrigo Duterte will inherit a "rapidly, growing, vibrant Philippines" built over the past six years.

"The running 6-year growth average of 6.2 percent is our fastest streak since 1978, which when compared to the 3.8-percent average from 1995-2010 reflects how much we have improved our structural growth capacity," Purisima said.

The Philippines has committed to addressing growth constraints over the past six years by increasing spending on education (125 percent), social services (166 percent), health (336 percent) and infrastructure (360 percent).

"This is an unprecedented amount of investment making up for lost time and fulfilling our aspirational growth requirements," the Finance secretary said. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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