Economic managers to report on economy, infrastructure

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

ECONOMIC MANAGERS will report on the state of the economy and the infrastructure program at an upcoming forum Monday, according to the Department of Finance (DoF).

The DoF said the scheduled economic development and infrastructure clusters forum, “Sulong Pilipinas 2021,” scheduled for Monday, will serve as a pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) briefing.

“This year’s pre-SONA seeks to address primarily the existing concerns of the public over the lingering pandemic and the government’s programs to contain the quick spread of the lethal coronavirus. We do hope that our citizens will be able to tune in to the forum as the country’s top policy makers discuss our path to a quick and strong recovery from this global health and economic crises,” Finance Assistant Secretary and the agency’s spokesperson Paola Sherina A. Alvarez said in the statement.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III will report on the government’s priority plans on the economy while Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar will deliver an update on the infrastructure program.

Meanwhile, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua will talk about the government’s socioeconomic priorities for 2021-2022.

Central Bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno will discuss the monetary, external and financial sectors, while the status of the flagship infrastructure projects will be presented by Vivencio B. Dizon, the presidential adviser on flagship projects, and Arthur P. Tugade, Transportation secretary.

Economic managers are currently reviewing their 6.5-7.5% growth target for the year, with the reimposition of lockdown measures in the capital region and adjacent provinces expected to dent the full-year result by 0.8 percentage point.

The Philippine Statistics Authority will report first quarter gross domestic product on May 10.

“The audience can expect Secretary Dominguez to delve deeper into the challenges we’re facing right now, the accomplishments in the previous year that we can build on, the Duterte administration’s four-pillar socioeconomic strategy to beat COVID-19, and the pending legislative proposals endorsed by our economic managers to the Congress,” Ms. Alvarez said.

There will also be an update on the vaccination program, she said. — Beatrice M. Laforga