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Ballooning population ‘nightmare’ for country

The country’s ballooning population has become a “nightmare” amid government efforts to expand the local economy and keep public safety and health, President Duterte said.

The President recognized the challenges posed by population growth during a speech at a closed-door Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. event at the historic landmark Manila Hotel.

“Every government desires for an economic expansion,” Duterte said. “In the Philippines, we are hitting about 110 million Filipinos and that is really a nightmare given the economic level of our country today, the income, the GDP,” he added.

The President renewed his resolve to perform his mandate, mainly to protect and promote the nation’s well-being, in the face of the country’s growing population.

“There are four, five fundamental duties of government – one is to protect public interest, public health, public order, public safety, and the general welfare of the people,” Duterte said.

“If you want a nutshell of what a President should do, those are the functions which I have to perform and see to it that it’s complied with,” he said.

The Commission on Population said that the country’s population is expected to reach 107.19 million by the end of the year.

PopCom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said the population will increase by 1.8 million by end of 2018, growing at a rate of 1.69 percent. “That means we will be adding 4,965 Filipinos per day, or 206 every hour in 2018,” Perez recently said.

The government is still bullish about a sustained economic growth under the President’s watch.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the new tax reform law, which has lowered income tax rates, would create bigger purchasing power and larger consumer base.

“We remain confident that the country’s economy will continue to thrive under the Duterte administration, especially with the enactment and implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Act and other tax packages to further improve our growth,” Roque said.

Roque also cited the revitalized business and consumer confidence in the country amid the country’s “economic resurgence.”

“That optimism is backed by solid macro and micro economic indicators that make the Philippines one of the top performing countries in the world,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)