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Optimism for 2017

Happy New Year!!!

Traditionally, New Year is when one takes stock of himself and his situation, reorients himself, and plans his strategies towards his defined goals. He should be realistic but optimistic. Significantly, a recent survey showed over 90% of Filipinos are optimistic about 2017, during which they hope to find a firmer ground where they can build the kind of life they want.

Other than the Philippines’ significant 7.1% third quarter GDP growth that surpassed China’s 6.7% and Vietnam’s 6.4%, making it the fastest growing Asian economy, are there valid reasons that justify such impressive Filipino optimism?

Albay Rep. Joey Salceda thinks so and listed 12 such reasons.

Topping Salceda’s list is the Philippine chairmanship of ASEAN during its 50th anniversary year and hosting its 2017 summit. Second is the launch soon of the 2017-2022 Philippine Development Plan (PDP) that will “translate AmBisyon Natin 2040 and the administration’s 0+10-point Socio-economic Agenda into strategies, policies, programs. . .”

AmBisyon 2040 articulates the Filipinos’ collective aspirations for themselves and their country in the next 25 years. a development planning anchor for at least four administrations.

Third is the Traffic and Congestion Crisis plan implementation to solve the debilitating transport problem. Fourth is the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) enactment that will reduce the personal income taxes of working Filipinos, complemented by the Tax Administration Reform Act (TARA) towards a more efficient tax collection system.

Next comes the Final Peace Agreement with the NDF and legislative creation of the Bangsa Moro Authority, followed by the rapid development of international airports In Palawan, Albay and Bohol; the Mindanao Railways and the North-South Railways Program’s Southline component; and bridges linking Sorogon and Samar, and Leyte and Surigao that will jumpstart the country’s “Golden Era of Transportation.”

In 10th slot is the implementation of the 42 Industry Roadmaps, Manufacturing Resurgence Program, Small and Medium Enterprise in Global Value Chain, and new Investment Priority Plan, followed by the Business trophy investments from Japan including $25 billion from Marubeni and big-ticket China-funded infrastructures.

No. 11 is the convening of Congress as a Constituent Assembly to tackle the shift to Federalism that also opens doors to broader economic growth prospects. No. 12 is the strong leadership and united front and strategic alliance for global competitiveness and against poverty by the Executive, Legislative, LGUs and NGOs. (Johnny Dayang)