Noy: Philippines to approach first-world status if good governance pursued
Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) - October 28, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino on Tuesday said the best is yet to come for the Philippines, perhaps even nearing first-world status, if his good governance policies are pursued.

“Even our harshest critics cannot deny that we have finished projects that have been promised for generations,” Aquino said during the 41st Philippine Business Conference held at Marriott Hotel in Pasay City.

He highlighted the fact that he tripled the measly infrastructure budget that he got from his predecessor, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“The numbers do not lie: under the daang matuwid (straight path) administration, the infrastructure budget has more than tripled. In 2010, we inherited an infrastructure budget of P165 million. This has increased to P570 billion in 2015,” he said.

The President said that this simply means that budget for infrastructure “stands at around four percent of GDP (gross domestic product) that has grown at quite a nice and respectable pace, and we intend to have it reach five percent by next year.”  

Aquino also credited the overflowing infrastructure projects under his administration to the efficient public-private partnerships that he signed to “get big-ticket projects done.”

He cited as example the ongoing Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project that aims to significantly reduce travel time from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in Quezon City from two hours to 15 to 20 minutes.  

“It will be that much easier for you to visit your facilities, or perhaps even visit prospective sites in Central Luzon and other cities farther up north,” Aquino told the businessmen.

Faith in the Philippines

Meanwhile, Aquino hailed businessman Alfredo Yao, who owns the popular Filipino juice product Zest-O, for not giving up on the country.

ZestO has diversified into other product categories.

“This is why I am not surprised that Alfred’s operations continue to grow to this day,” Aquino said. “He knows that during moments when you work hard and still fail, the best course of action is to work even harder – to tap your creativity and pave new paths to success.”

Excited about the bullish economy that he will be leaving behind, Aquino also revealed the partnership between the departments of tourism and public works and highways to develop 463 “tourism roads.”

“We have progressed at such a quick pace that (DPWH) Secretary Babes Singson now likes to joke that there is no waterfalls in the Philippines that does not have a road leading to it,” he said.

The country’s GDP grew by an average of 6.2 percent for the past five years under Aquino’s administration, touted as the “fastest five-year average growth in nearly four decades.”  

“From 2010 to 2014, we increased our net foreign direct investments almost six-fold. We recorded the lowest unemployment rate in a decade. Above all, we have regained the respect of the international community – from being ‘The Sick Man of Asia’ to being ‘Asia’s New Darling,”’ Aquino stressed.

ACIRC ALFREDO YAO AQUINO CENTRAL LUZON MARRIOTT HOTEL METRO MANILA SKYWAY STAGE NEW DARLING PASAY CITY PHILIPPINE BUSINESS CONFERENCE PRESIDENT AQUINO PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
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