Barely a week in office, the Duterte administration is already managing expectations as it cuts the initial growth targets of the economy’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 6% to 7% from the previously announced 6.8% to 7.8% by the Aquino administration.
After the first Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) meeting on Tuesday, July 5, Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno said in a statement that the administration decided to cut the initial targets set because of “tapering effect of election spending; slow agricultural output due to El Niño; weak infrastructure due to seasonality, and weak external trade.”
The committee also adjusted its GDP growth target for 2017 to 6.5% to 7.5% from 6.6% to 7.6% previously set.
In spite of such adjustments, DBCC said it is optimistic the economy will remain resilient amid the weak global forecast due to recent developments in the European Union and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian) region.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo join Diokno in the DBCC.
San Miguel now fully in charge of MRT7
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is now 100% in charge of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 7 project, after buying the 49% stake of Universal LRT Corp. BVI Ltd. (owned by Salvador Zamora II) for $100 million.
Related: Finally! MRT7 to start construction
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, San Miguel Holdings Corporation also said it acquired the 100% equity interest in ULCOM Co. Inc., the designated facility operator of MRT7 project, following the deal.
The P69.3-billion ($1.48-billion) MRT7 broke ground in April, which will consist of 14 stations from Quezon Avenue in Quezon City to San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.
SMC COO Ramon Ang said in earlier reports that the 23-kilometer elevated railway will most likely be finished in three to four years. – Elyssa Christine Lopez