Diokno optimistic that PH’s 2023 growth target will be achieved

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said on Wednesday that the Philippine economy is expected to continue to grow and recover from the pandemic, adding that he was confident that the economic growth target for this year would be attained.

“[W]ith a brightening outlook on the horizon and a strong array of revenue-enhancing reforms, the Philippine economy remains firmly on the path to recovery and progress,” Diokno said during the Pilipinas Conference 2023 at The Peninsula Manila in Makati City.

Diokno said the Philippine economy posted the strongest third-quarter growth of 5.9 percent in the region.

This brought the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) expansion for the first three quarters of 2023 to 5.5 percent – faster than China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Singapore.

“Despite external risks and domestic challenges, the Philippines remains to be one of the brightest spots in the region,” Diokno said.

“With a promising outlook on the horizon, we are confident that we will achieve the lower end of our growth target of 6 to 7 percent for this year, and accelerate at 6.5 to 8 percent from 2024 to 2028,” he added.

The Finance chief said the Marcos Jr. administration aims to pursue macroeconomic stability and fiscal sustainability by implementing the Philippines’ first-ever Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF).

Among the key reforms being pursued by the Department of Finance (DOF), as identified under the MTFF, are the Real Property Valuation and Assessment Reform Bill, the Passive Income and Financial Intermediaries Taxation Bill, and the value-added tax (VAT) on digital services.

The DOF is also pushing for the passage of tax measures on sweetened beverages and junk food, as well as an excise tax on single-use plastics, motor vehicle road users tax, and the rationalization of the country’s mining fiscal regime.

“Together, these measures aim to improve tax administration, enhance the fairness and efficiency of our tax system, and promote environmental sustainability to address climate change,” Diokno said. (PNA)

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