Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Duterte administration on the right track

The incoming administration's ten point economic agenda seems very promising. First off, it is doable. Second, it specifically addresses major stumbling blocks in the country's progress and thirdly, the agenda seemed necessary for the Philippines to immediately leap-frog itself to industrialization. Let's discuss one-by-one:

  1. The adoption of comprehensive tax reform. This is necessary because income and corporate taxes here are higher than other Asian countries. Lowering income tax to 10-12% would spur further economic growth because it would enable all Filipinos to enjoy the value of their salaries. This will definitely lead to a faster growth of SMEs in this country, as people would now have a higher spending capability than before. 
  2. The adoption of a national ID system. Government spends so much in ID's that one singular ID should be adopted. This, however, necessitates the creation of a unified IT network. Prior to the creation of an ID system, there should already be an established National IT network and integration should have been in place already. 
  3. Further ease in doing business. This point is dependent on the connectivity issues as discussed in 2. In the interim, what agencies can do to further ease the process is eliminate clogs in the system especially the number of signatories and of course, the frequency of human intervention. 
  4. The improvement of telecommunications and internet services. Open the industry to foreign players so that the entire government is not beholden to just two (2) telecom giants or what others call a duopoly. 
  5. The delivery of support services to farmers such as financing, technology and logistics. This is entirely necessary since the infrastructure is already established. What government needs is to prioritize funding for this. 
  6. The implementation of responsible mining, with local value-added such as processing, while limiting raw ore exports. I don't know how this administration define "responsible mining" but what the admin probably meant is beneficial mining, meaning, more revenues should be enjoyed by the LGU's instead of just the mining firms benefitting from the mining activities. Government should re-establish our former industries such as Copper, Nickel, Steel industries.
  7. The development of regional industries while equipping the local workforce with necessary skills. There must be a comprehensive development road map, identifying major industries per region and minimising competition between and among regions. For example, in regions where they are always subject to natural disasters like typhoons, and the soil in these areas are not suited for agriculture, be transformed as mining areas. 
  8. The improvement of transport networks across the country to foster connectivity. There is already a plan for this. This however, does not need emergency powers to be effected. It just needs a responsible manager to coordinate everything in a smoother, faster pace.
  9. A review of the conditional cash transfer program, as it promotes dependency on the government. I think in this aspect they are mistaken. GOvernment needs to continue this for the next two years because the poor here in the Philippines is poorer than what other Asian countries classify them to. 
  10. The speedy implementation of public-private partnership and infrastructure projects as well as respecting the sanctity of contracts. Question---what if a particular project is superfluous and does not fit in the overall scheme of things--will this be continued because this administration vows to respect the sanctity of contracts? I think this is inserted by business groups formerly allied with the previous administrations. 

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