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Pre-SONA forum set in Cebu

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Government officials will report on the accomplishments of the Duterte administration in a forum set for July 10, 2019 in Cebu City.

The forum, one of three planned ahead of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on July 22, will report on accomplishments related to the “patuloy na malasakit at pagkakaisa” agenda (which is focused on human development).

The first forum, held in Manila, highlighted the reforms implemented under the Duterte administration.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, head of the administration’s economic cluster, said the reforms that have been implemented include tax reform, national ID system, liberalization of rice imports, ease of doing business, and amendments to the charter of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

In the pipeline are additional tax reform packages that will help boost government revenues and make the country more attractive to investments, Dominguez said.

These reforms are seen to transform the country into a high-income economy by 2040.

“Over the past three years, the Duterte administration has shown great political resolve. Reforms across a broad spectrum were initiated. Robust economic growth continues to gain momentum. Massive investments in our economy’s competitiveness continue to be made. Ambitious programs have been instituted. Our fiscal position is as strong as it has ever been,” Dominguez said.

“While we rank among the best performing economies in this dynamic part of the world, growth is not our final goal. Our ultimate goal is to bring down poverty rates and create more opportunities for all law-abiding Filipinos,” he added.

Poverty incidence among Filipino individuals, or the proportion of the population living below the poverty line to the total population, was estimated at 21% in the first half of 2018, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

This was lower than the 27.6% recorded in the same period in 2015.

The poverty rate among Filipino families, or the proportion of families living below the poverty line, as of the first half of 2018 was 16.1%, lower than the 22.2% in 2015.

The PSA said a family of five needed at least P10,481 on average to meet both basic food and non-food needs in a month. This is the poverty threshold.

After the pre-SONA forum in Cebu, a third forum will be held in Davao City on July 17 to highlight accomplishments related to the “Patuloy na Katatagan” agenda (which is focused on security and disaster resiliency). (Ventures Cebu)

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