Bright prospects for PHL in ASEAN integration

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BAGUIO CITY – The Philippines will be in a better position to hurdle the challenges and birthpains of the full implementation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) integration next year because of the institutionalized reforms and its good showing in terms of economic resiliency,” Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said Tuesday.

Abad, who was the guest of honor and speaker during the Annual National Convention of the Association of Government Accountants of the Philippines (AGAP) at the CAP Convention Center inside Camp John Hay (CJH) here, said based on the assessments of experts that attended the World Economic Forum hosted by the Philippines in Manila, the Philippines has been adjudged to be the most improved ASEAN country in terms of putting in place economic policies that will counter the effects of the implementation of zero tariff in goods and services, except for some identified agricultural crops.

“We will be able to hurdle the stiff competition to be provided by the goods and services of the member countries because of our economic resilience that allowed us to become one of the countries with fast improving economies,” Secretary Abad stressed.

He cited the Philippine economy was also adjudged to be one of the fastest growing in the world, and second to the growth of the economy of China, thus, doubts casted on the ability of the country to compete in the international market is rather unlikely.

Furthermore, Secretary Abad claimed in terms of global competitiveness, the Philippines has overtook at least 33 countries, mostly in the Asia-Pacific region, in the quest for competitiveness among nations which illustrates the readiness of the country to be at part with global competitive standards primarily geared towards improving the overall status of the economy.

“The Philippines has always been ready for the long awaited integration and we will continue to confront the challenges of integration without reservations so that we will be able to make waves in the international markets,” Abad added.

The DBM official asserted the adherence of government leaders to the overarching program of the administration on good governance has made wonders for the Philippines, especially in the putting in place of the key socio-economic reforms that helped sustain the economic growth over the past several years.

Secretary Abad claimed the continuous implementation of institutionalized strategies and reforms on the country’s economy will greatly help in providing a better economic atmosphere which will be a potent tool towards robust economic growth not only for the remaining years of the Aquino administration but also for the next administration.

He belied earlier allegations by some lawmakers that the country’s economy will suffer a setback because of lesser spending in the coming years, saying that the previous robust spending of the national government in terms of infrastructure, health services, livelihood among others have definitely contributed in charting a better situation for the country’s economy.

“We will not buckle down to any outside pressure because we will sustain the growth of our economy which we were able to achieve through our commitment to good and transparent governance,” Abad said.

He appealed to critics of the Aquino administration to give a chance for the administration to fulfil its commitment of leading the country and its people to follow the right path and that it will be the people who will be the beneficiaries of heightened economic growth through the reduction of poverty and the improvement of their living condition within the next several years.

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