Rapid, Inclusive and Sustained Economic Growth
To achieve rapid economic expansion that generates jobs and livelihood for and increase the income of the poor while moving away from the boom-and-bust cycle of the economic performance of the past.
- Infrastructure: Building Roads and Bridges for Sustainable Growth
- Strategic Support for PPP
- Agriculture: Towards Food Self-Sufficiency
- Infrastructure for Agriculture
- Support to Agricultural Productivity
- Infrastructure for Tourism
- Tourism Promotion
- National Productivity Improvement
As the poor are lifted from poverty and capacitated through education and healthcare services, the economy must be able to provide them with better livelihood opportunities. Economic growth must therefore be rapid, as gross domestic product (GDP) must increase by 7 to 8 percent annually; inclusive, as growth must be for the benefit of all and not for a few; and sustained, as the country must escape from the vicious boom-and-bust cycles of the past.
To facilitate growth, the government must provide necessary infrastructure and other investments to support increased economic activity, ensure macro-economic and policy stability to help business flourish, and become a just market regulator and fair partner of the private sector.
To meet these requirements, the Aquino Administration has infused some P439.5 billion into the economic services sector, 21.5 percent more than the P361.7-billion allocation in 2011. But more than the increased aggregate amount, the Aquino Administration seeks to focus its efforts towards the five priority areas for job generation and economic development: semi-conductor and electronics, business process outsourcing, tourism development, agriculture and fisheries development, and general infrastructure.
Infrastructure: Building Roads and Bridges for Sustainable Growth
Public infrastructure spending has been increased by 31.7 percent, from P191.7 billion in 2011 to P252.4 billion in 2012. To ensure rapid, inclusive and sustained economic development, vital infrastructure projects will be implemented to facilitate the movement of people, goods, services, and information.
Strategic Support for PPP
The government will continue to harness Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to tap private capital in addressing critical constraints in infrastructure spending. For this purpose, the Aquino administration has provided a total of P19.6 as counterpart funds for PPP projects in 2012. These include:
Agriculture: Towards Food Self-Sufficiency
Agriculture is a vital sector in the country’s economy. In 2011, the agriculture, fishery and forestry accounted for 16.3 percent of the country’s economy and over 30 percent of the labor force. It also addresses the nation’s food requirements Most importantly, the development of agriculture will support poverty reduction and improved economic opportunities for the rural poor.
The government aims for 100-percent self- sufficiency in rice and other food staples by 2016 to help combat hunger. In line with this, P99.45 billion has been provided for the agriculture and agrarian reform sector in 2012, 50.7 percent more than the 2011 level of P65.97 billion.
Infrastructure for Agriculture
To boost agricultural yields particularly of rice, the administration has raised the budget for irrigation infrastructure by more than 90 percent to P24.5 billion to ensure the irrigation of more than 135,040 hectares of agricultural lands. Moreover, the 2012 Budget provides P5 billion for the construction and rehabilitation of 1,881.6 kilometers of farm-to-market roads. These projects to be funded have been fleshed out in the 2012 Budget, allowing citizens—especially farmers’ organizations—to closely monitor the implementation of these locally-funded and foreign-supported irrigation projects.
Support to Agricultural Productivity
The government has increased the 2012 allocation for the National Rice Program by P1.8 billion, 43.2 percent more than the 2011 appropriation of P4.3 billion. It has likewise provided for various programs to improve the production of other crops and livestock.
Tourism is a low-lying fruit: economic benefits are immediately realized, and the Philippines—not only due to its natural attractions and cultural heritage sites but also its very people—has a high potential for success in the sector. The Aquino government seeks to attract 10 million tourists by 2016. To help meet the government’s target of ushering in 4.6 million tourists this year, the Aquino administration has lined up several infrastructure projects and tourism promotion activities funded by the 2012 Budget.
Infrastructure for Tourism
Various infrastructure projects are expected to spur the development of tourist destinations. In fact, a significant portion of the total government infrastructure program for 2012—particularly the development of airports, seaports and better access roads and transportation facilities—will benefit the sector.
More specifically, DPWH has been provided with a budget of P3.07-billion—more than the P1.8-billion allocation for 2011—for the construction of 131 km of access roads to tourist destinations. It will also have a P1.1-billion budget for the construction of access roads to airports and roll-on/roll-off ports leading to various tourist destinations, such as Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Bicol, Cebu, Mindanao, Northern and Central Luzon.
It’s more fun in the Philippines, and with more funds for tourism. The Department of Tourism (DoT) will receive P762.4 million to push its international promotions campaign into high gear. An additional P18.6 million will be channeled to a major tourist exposition in Yeosu, Korea. Moreover, another P12.5 million will be used by DoT to beef up its local tourism promotion activities.
National Productivity Improvement
To improve the country’s productivity and competitiveness in various industries, the Administration will tap new knowledge and emerging innovations in science and technology. For 2012, the government has provided P3.1 B for national productivity improvement. Of this, P2.7 billion will be used by the Department of Science and Technology (DoST) for generating new knowledge and technologies, ensuring their diffusion and transfer, and developing science and technology human resources.