Press Release
January 23, 2018

Statement of Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto
GDP growth must be felt by the stomach, create jobs

The Philippine report card for 2017 deserves a grade of "A."

The impressive performance validates the prudence of sustaining the game-changing reforms initiated in the past.

It also showed that the economy has been firewalled from political disturbances, like the Martial Law in Mindanao, which apparently did not dampen economic output.

The challenge now is to sustain the momentum, by staying on the track that provided the boost, like public sector spending and agriculture, which both turned in good numbers.

Government should take advantage of the "good weather window" in the first half of the year to ramp up job-creating construction.

Public spending in agriculture, which hosts the most number of poor, must be stepped up to curb food inflation and to further decrease hunger incidence.

Growth, to be palpable to the people, must be translated into affordable calories. For that is the only way the GDP numbers will be relevant-- and real--to 3.6 million Filipinos who experienced involuntary hunger in the last quarter of 2017.

Growth must also generate jobs, create opportunities and improve the lives of the 2.4 million unemployed and the 6.5 million underemployed.

Anumang asenso ng Pilipinas ay dapat maramdaman ng Pilipino. Kapag umangat ang ekonomiya, dapat umunlad din ang pamilya.

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