February 1, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday urged members of the diplomatic community to work with his administration in achieving its Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2023-2028.
This, he said, would serve as the country’s blueprint for its economic and social transformation in the next six years.
“I urge our friends in the Diplomatic Community to work with us in achieving our development goals as laid out in the plan through partnerships and cooperation with your respective governments and also your business sectors,” he said in his toast remarks during the Vin d’Honneur in Malacañang, as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
“Let us discuss opportunities where our countries can participate,” Marcos added.
The president said post-COVID realities demand recalibrating strategies and focusing on urgent concerns that would really matter to the people – food security, job generation, poverty reduction, and managing inflation.
These strategies, he said, would entail “new thinking” in doing things under a bureaucracy that puts a premium on operational efficiency, sound fiscal management, and good governance.
According to Marcos, a big part of this strategy is drawing investments in key economic sectors, including agriculture, renewable energy, and infrastructure, and ensuring that opportunities and investment leads and pledges translate into actual projects.
He also expressed high hopes for the Philippines’ continued positive economic showing, which, he said, would cushion the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
He touted the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which stood at 7.7% in the third quarter of 2022, which is way better than the 5.7% growth in the same period in 2021.
The full-year GDP growth for 2022 was at 7.6% — the highest in 46 years.
“Our growth assumptions remain reasonably ambitious. We are looking to the same growth rate– that of 2022 and between 6 to 7 percent for this year,” Marcos said.
Tax collections and investments figures are also moving upwards, he said.
“With the current growth momentum, the Philippines is poised to reach upper middle-income status very soon,” he noted.
Aside from addressing domestic issues, Marcos said his administration would continue to attach great importance to the nation’s external relations, with its foreign policy geared towards actively pursuing international engagements while maintaining the country’s national interest.
He said the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) continues to be a cornerstone of Philippine foreign policy, adding that his administration’s aim is to elevate relations with the country’s bilateral and multilateral partners.
The Philippines, Marcos said, will continue to work with its partners in building a stronger United Nations as it is a staunch champion of multilateralism.
The Vin d’Honneur is an official reception hosted by the president of the Philippines at Malacañang Palace, traditionally on New Year’s Day.
The Vin d’Honneur” — literally, “wine of honor” — follows a French practice that takes place at the end of inaugurations, speeches, and ceremonies.