Romualdez: Congress efforts enabled Diokno’s rosy outlook

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said the positive economic outlook issued by Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno was enabled in part by the efforts of Congress.

Of the nine factors Mr. Diokno cited in his positive outlook, four were the “direct result” of work done by Congress — the early approval of the 2023 national budget, the approval of the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework for 2023-2028, the removal of barriers to foreign investment, and the continuation of the Build, Build, Build program with expanded private-sector participation, Mr. Romualdez said in a statement.

“We, in the House of Representatives, welcome the good news from our Finance Secretary that the worst is over for the Philippines and better years are expected,” Mr. Romualdez said.

Mr. Diokno said earlier in the week that he expects the Philippines to post one of the highest growth rates among the six major economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year.

Mr. Romualdez added that the House of Representatives will focus on passing “pro-people” measures like the bill establishing the Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF). 

Mr. Romualdez promised to pass 12 priority measures identified by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. once Congress resumes session on Jan. 23.

 The priority bills are the proposed enabling law for the Natural Gas Industry; amendments to the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA); a measure harmonizing procedures for separation, retirement and pension; the proposed E-Governance Act and E-Government Act; the proposed National Land Use Act; the proposed National Defense Act; the proposed National Government Rightsizing Program; the proposed Budget Modernization Bill; the bill creating the Department of Water Resources; the bill establishing the Negros Island Region; the proposed Magna Carta for Filipino Seafarers; and a measure establishing regional specialty hospitals. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz