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House promises to increase efforts to improve the economy

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Martin G. Romualdez, the speaker of the house, declared on Thursday that the House of Representatives will do its duties twice as well in order to maintain the nation’s strong economic growth and successfully transform it into the comfort of every Filipino.

The lawmakers applauded Benjamin Diokno, secretary of the Department of Finance (DOF), for stating that the worst is gone for the Philippines and brighter years are on the horizon.

Romualdez claimed that the nation’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 outbreak inspired lawmakers to pass further laws necessary to further expand the economy and raise living standards for Filipinos.

Despite an impending global recession, Diokno predicted faster economic development for the Philippines in 2023 last Wednesday.

According to Diokno, among the six economies that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines is still anticipated to have one of the highest growth rates in 2019.

According to Diokno, “several institutions and experts have forecast a worldwide recession in 2023, downgrading the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) projection to less than 6 percent.” “However, an average GDP growth rate of 6.5 percent is nothing to be sniffed at: it is still one of the greatest, if not the highest, growth rates among the ASEAN+6 economies.

In support of his upbeat predictions for the nation’s economy’s growth in 2023, Diokno listed nine factors, four of which were directly related to actions by Congress, including the early adoption of the nation’s first-ever Medium-Term Fiscal Framework (MTFF) for 2023–2028, a more favorable economic climate that removed barriers to foreign investment, and a strong commitment to expanding the “Build, Build, Build” program with enhanced private sector participation.

Romualdez expressed his appreciation to his colleague’s legislators for moving promptly on crucial legislation, which Diokno identified as one of the main causes for hope in the nation’s robust economic performance.

It may be noted that on August 1 of last year, the House passed Concurrent Resolution No. 2, endorsing the 2023–2028 MTFF of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

On September 28, the House passed its version of the 2023 federal budget, and on December 5, the bicameral conference committee’s report was accepted.

It was the only budget in recent memory to have been signed in the middle of December, according to Romualdez, and it was signed by Marcos on December 16th.

While serving as the House majority leader, Romualdez shepherded the approval of amendments to the Public Services Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act during the 18th Congress.

In addition, Diokno listed a number of other factors that are encouraging for the economy’s growth prospects in 2023, including the quick approval of the Philippine Development Plan 2023–2028, the nation’s solid international credit standing, its stable and resilient banking system, adequate safeguards against external headwinds, and a young, technologically advanced labor force that speaks primarily English.

When Congress reconvenes on January 23, 2023, Romualdez promised to pass the final 12 Marcos priority items to support maintaining such a growth track.

The National Land Use Act, the National Defense Act, the National Government Rightsizing Program, the Budget Modernization Bill, the Department of Water Resources, creating the Negros Island Region, and the Magna Carta are among the 12 remaining priority bills. The EPIRA amendments, the Unified System of Separation, Retirement, and Pension, the E-Governance Act and E-Government Act, the National Defense Act, the National Defense Act, the National Land Use Act, the National Land Use Act, the National Defense Act, the National Government

The Maharlika Investment Fund (MIF), the PHP5.268 trillion national budget for 2023, and 20 other priority bills of the Marcos administration—of which 19 were included in the common legislative agenda (CLA) adopted by the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council—were all passed by the House before it broke for the Christmas holiday (LEDAC).

According to Romualdez, the House is eagerly anticipating the passage of the 19 priority legislation under the CLA that was approved on the third and final reading.

These include the Philippine Passport Act, Waste-to-Energy Bill, National Disease Prevention Management Authority or Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Medical Reserve Corps (HEART), Internet Transaction Act / E-Commerce Law, Leyte Ecological Industrial Zone, and Passive Income and Financial Intermediary Taxation Act (PIFITA), which is the fourth package under the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program (CTRP) (NCSTP).

The President has approved two of the 19 measures included in the CLA, namely Republic Act 11934 and RA 11935, which postpone the December 2022 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections to October 2023 and require SIM registration, respectively.

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