Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said the government’s “Build, Build, Build” would provide the country with the required stimulus to keep creating jobs and opening new investment opportunities against a backdrop of global economic slowdown.

Speaking to a business delegation from the Singapore Business Federation this morning, Dominguez said business opportunities would come from the “Build, Build, Build” program as well as other related businesses.

The Philippines is expected to hit upper middle-income country status next year on the strength of its stable macroeconomic fundamentals and reforms of the Duterte administration’s first three years including the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law, he said.

“We can do reform and we can deliver in the field.  We have done significant reforms in taxation, and we are moving forward with that, Dominguez said during his meeting federation members at the Department of Finance (DoF) office in Manila earlier today.

This could be proven by the increase in spending on infrastructure from a mere 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP in the last 50 years, to 5 percent of GDP in 2018, he said.

Infrastructure programs will create jobs and boost domestic consumption, protecting the domestic economy from the global growth slowdown, adverse effects of the ongoing US-China trade war and other risks to the government’s efforts to sustains the country’s high growth rate, he said.

“The Philippine economy continues to demonstrate strength, stability and resilience in adverse conditions. We hope to sustain our growth, relying on strong domestic demand to offset the general slowdown,” Dominguez said.

The Singaporean delegation was led by federation chairman Teo Siong Seng. The group represents at least 25,800 Singapore-based companies. (Melo M. Acuña)