Makati City – Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno expressed optimism about the Philippine economy’s growth trajectory, confident in meeting the economic growth target set for 2023. He shared these views during the Pilipinas Conference 2023 at The Peninsula Manila in Makati City.
According to Philippines News Agency, Diokno highlighted that the Philippine economy achieved the strongest third-quarter growth of 5.9 percent in the region, leading to a gross domestic product (GDP) expansion of 5.5 percent for the first three quarters of 2023. This growth outpaced that of several regional counterparts including China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore. Diokno stated that despite external risks and domestic challenges, the Philippines is one of the brightest spots in the region. He is confident that the country will attain its growth target of 6 to 7 percent for the year and accelerate further in the coming years. The Finance chief also mentioned the government’s commitment to macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability through the implementation of the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF). Key reforms identified under the MTFF by the Department of Finance include the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Bill, Passive Income and Financial Intermediaries Taxation Bill, and VAT on digital services. The department is also advocating for the taxation of sweetened beverages, junk food, single-use plastics, motor vehicle road users, and a rationalized mining fiscal regime. These measures aim to enhance tax administration, fairness, efficiency, and promote environmental sustainability.