On May 29, 2018, Department of Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno discussed to various members of the business community the budget priorities, spending performance and the Philippine Development Plan of the Duterte Administration during the BDO-MCII Business Forum in Makati City.
In his speech, Secretary Diokno stressed that the government remains committed to attaining the government’s development goals set in the PDP 2017-2022.
“We have an ambitious equity target of reducing the poverty rate from 21.6% in 2015 to at least 14% by 2022, cutting poverty incidence by 1.25 to 1.5 percentage points annually,” said Sec. Diokno.
He also presented the infrastructure policy reforms to ensure that the Build Build Build program will be financed and completed most of the major projects within the term of President Duterte.
For the first quarter data, the “actual infrastructure disbursements reached P13.7 billion, or 9.6%”.
Sec. Diokno also discussed that the government have increased planned deficit of 3% of GDP through the expansionary fiscal policy which would allow the Administration finance the infrastructure program.
“Last year, the recorded deficit was at 2.2% due to strong revenue collection and little bit of underspending. Moving forward from 2018 to 2022, we intend to keep the deficit at 3%,” he stated.
He also discussed the enhanced planning and budget preparation to improve fiscal transparency and accountability. Next year, the government will be implementing a cash-based budget where goods and services must be inspected, delivered, and paid for in the same fiscal year, subject to Extended Payment Period.
In the panel discussion, Secretary Diokno also explained the positive impact of the various big-ticket infrastructure projects such as the Metro Manila Subway, PNR South and North Long Haul, and Mindanao Railway System.
Present also in the forum were Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Dato' Raszlan Abdul Rashid, President of Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industries Philippines, Inc. Mr Edward Ling, EVP and Deputy Head of Institutional Banking Group Ms Edmundo Soriano.