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PH economy grows 6.5% in 2nd quarter

The Philippine economy grew 6.5 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, boosted by strong industry, farm recovery, and with the services sector rising slower but remaining a main driver of growth, officials said yesterday.

The country could face a “dark age of infrastructure” if government’s priority tax reform bill does not get the congressional approval soon, the country’s socio-economic planning chief said on Tuesday.

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When President Benigno Aquino III in January, 2016, vetoed the P2,000 pension hike of Social Security System (SSS) retirees because of its “dire financial consequences,” then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte joined in castigating his action which, it seemed, showed how callous the administration was, that it would refuse what Congress had already approved – an increase in the pensions of old retired workers some of whom were getting as little as P2,500 a month.

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President Duterte is looking for a “win-win solution” to resolve the impasse over the proposed pension increase for Social Security System members.

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In the middle of all the political noises we have been hearing recently, two pieces of good news went largely (and sadly) unnoticed. The first is the 7.1% growth in our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the 3rd quarter of 2016. The second is the recent announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte that he has approved a new batch of infrastructure projects worth P270 billion.

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At least seven major infrastructure projects estimated P270 billion have been approved by President Duterte in a bid to improve the country’s road networks as well as promote the agriculture and tourism sectors.

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