Press Release
April 19, 2016


With the Philippine economy experiencing a steady growth, independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe said the right kind of leader is crucial to making that growth truly inclusive.

"Alam niyo po ang ating ekonomiya ay tumataas na. Totoo po 'yon. Pero ang sinasabi ng mga eksperto ay ito: kailangan ang growth ng ating bansa ay maging consistently above 6 to 7 percent in at least two more administrations before we will feel the difference all the way to the ground," Poe said during a recent meeting with around 600 barangay officials in Quezon City.

The May 9 elections, Poe said, will determine the country's economic direction in the next six years.

"We cannot afford to risk having another six years with the wrong kind of leader. It is up to you to judge that. So 'yon po dapat ang iisipin ninyo," she reminded voters.

The Philippine economy has bucked the international downward trend and has rallied in the last six years. In 2010, the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by an average 7.7 percent; in 2011, 3.7 percent; in 2012, 6.8 percent; in 2013, 7.2 percent; in 2014, 6.1 percent; and in 2015, 5.8 percent.

Poe, who is running on a platform of inclusive growth, global competitiveness and transparency in government, said this economic growth can be sustained by creating more jobs and investing in the country's young workforce.

If they win, Poe and running mate Sen. Francis Escudero have promised to allocate the equivalent of at least seven percent of the country's GDP to infrastructure development. This would not only bridge the gap in rural infrastructure needs but also provide employment, Poe said.

The senator also said she would push for an institutionalized feeding program for public daycare and elementary students nationwide, if she wins. This would cost around P30-40 billion, but she said this was a worthwhile investment in the Filipino youth.

"Tayo ang kaiingitan ng buong mundo sapagkat ang ating workforce ay bata. Pero hindi po lalaking matatalino ang mga bata na 'yan kung hindi po natin bibigyan ng tamang edukasyon, tamang pagkain at kaligtasan," Poe said.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, there are 20 million Filipinos aged 15-24, who comprise the youth sector as per the United Nations definition. There are 29 million Filipinos aged 15-30 years old.

"Hindi malayo sa pangarap na ngayon pa lang--di ba 'yung voters natin 'yung majority puro bata na--kaya ang ekonomiya natin ay talagang mas tataas, kailangan lang i-manage ng tama," Poe said.

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