Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has lauded the economic progress of the country, including PAGCOR’s increased revenue and the rise in tourism during the first half of the year, during his State of the Nation Address on Monday.
The Philippine president noted that the nation’s current state was “sound and improving”, calling for a “new Philippines” based on a “world-class workforce”.
Marcos Jr. also lauded a “great rebound” in the tourism sector, noting that the sector “has always been a reliable pillar of our economic growth through the years, providing livelihood to more than five million of our citizens”. He also praised PAGCOR’s increase in revenues of 47.9 percent from June of last year.
The president also noted that the nation brought in some 3 million international visitors during the first half-year, some 62 percent of the entire 4.8-million target for 2023.
The top official also noted that the country saw its highest economic growth rate in 46 years last year, posting 7.6 percent growth, noting that “there are many things over which we have no control, but over those where we do have control, we are doing everything we can”. Marcos Jr. also noted that the employment rate in the country (as of May) had reached 95.7 percent: “clear proof of the improvement from the severe unemployment […] during the height of the pandemic”.
Regarding attracting investment, Marcos Jr noted that “we must ensure that an enabling business environment is in place; that there is peace and order, and that the rule of law governs”.
The country has been fighting to mitigate the effects of recent raids on POGO facilities, and discovered cases of human trafficking, which numerous senators have said are damaging the investment reputation of the country, calling for the top official to shut down the offshore operators entirely.
The country’s Budget Secretary on Monday praised the president for the country’s “remarkable growth” since assuming office last June, noting that “If other countries recognize us, that translates to many investment opportunities and business opportunities in our country. If there are many opportunities, there will be additional jobs for our countrymen”.
Lawmakers and cabinet secretaries praised the president’s speech, with the Tourism Secretary noting that the international tourist arrivals are “just a preview of the bright prospects we can expect from the tourism industry under the Marcos administration”.
Other top officials praised the detailed economic planning for the coming years, expecting the country to meet its benchmarks.