Malacanang on Sunday, January 28, was elated on the latest report of Moody’s Investors Service that the Philippines is a standout among the ASEAN economies in 2018.
“Moody’s cited increasing trade and domestic demand, stable credit conditions and improved execution of government spending,” Roque said during his press briefing held in the Iloilo Provincial Capitol.
Secretary Roque further added that the Administration’s newly-enacted Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act would contribute to the projected high economic growth this year.
He said that major infrastructure projects under the Administration’s Build-Build-Build Program would spur economic activities, which included creation of livelihood opportunities for Filipinos, with the construction of networks of roads and bridges.
Related to this, the Palace spokesperson cited the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2018 where it classified the Philippines as an emerging economy with sustainability stewardship of natural and financial resources under the national performance key indicator of intergenerational equity and sustainability.
The Philippines ranked 38th among 74 emerging economies in this year’s WEF report describing the Philippine economy as “slowly advancing” from last year’s “stable” ranking.
Meanwhile, Roque mentioned that freedom of the speech and freedom of the press have always been his long-time advocacy. This in light of the issue of the Philippine Rise (Benham Rise) quoting the Palace spokesperson that “the Philippines has no capacity to explore Benham Rise.”
Secretary Roque branded this as fake news.
“Sa totoo lang po, itong issue ng Benham Rise nagulat ako, how prestigious publications can really publish fake news kasi malinaw na malinaw na sinabi ko sa tape….,” Roque said.
The Palace spokesperson categorically denied the stories that came out on the issue of Philippine Rise (Benham Rise) saying that there were two questions asked on him during the press briefing.
He first explained why China was given permit to conduct a scientific study. He then clarified that foreigners need to get permits since the Philippine Rise (Benham Rise) was part of the extended continental shelf.
Only Filipinos, Roque added, could explore and exploit the resources since Filipinos had the sovereign rights.
Secretary Roque reiterated that in journalism, the basic tenet of journalism is dedication to the truth, but nonetheless he allows the free marketplace of ideas.
On the Dengvaxia issue, the President’s spokesperson asked the public to wait for the result of the official investigation.
“Ang Presidente po ay nag-aantay ng resulta ng imbestigasyon. Matapos po ang imbestigasyon na ginagawa ngayon ng DOH at saka ng DOJ, eh sigurado naman po hindi na po NGO magsasampa ng kaso, kundi gobyerno na. Pero pakiusap lang ng Presidente at ng Palasyo, hayaan po natin tapusin ng DOJ at ng DOH ang imbestigasyon nila dahil nakasalalay sa imbestigasyon nila siyempre yung kalusugan ng mga batang naturukan at tsaka siyempre yung peace of mind ng kanilang mga magulang, ” he said.
Roque reiterated that the President did not want to engage in finger-pointing but the Chief Executive, Roque assured, would implement the law depending on the outcome of the investigation. ### PCO-Content