Education key to achieve inclusive growth: Domingo

THE government will be spending more on education and infrastructure in order to sustain the country's economic growth, an official said.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Gregory L. Domingo, who was the keynote speaker during DTI's Industry Roadmaps and the AEC Game Plan: Regional Roadmaps for Competitiveness Thursday at the Apo View Hotel, said the country is expected to have a "multi-decade" growth in the coming years brought by its recent strong economic performance.

"However, to leverage on this, we have to install and execute the right policies especially on education and infrastructure," he said, speaking before 400 participants.

"Hindi naman yan mangyayari ng basta basta. The conditions are right for us to enter into a multi-decade growth but we all have to do our part to make sure that this happens and nothing is more important than those two areas," Domingo added.

He said the best recipe to achieve inclusive growth is to provide education opportunities for all.

"Education is the great equalizer. It is the best solution to inclusive growth and also to make sure we take advantage of our position right now," Domingo said.

He said some of the efforts the government is implementing to ensure education are the K to 12 program implementation, signing the Iskolar ng Bayan Act of 2014 into law, increasing the budget for Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and increasing the budget allocation for education.

"To support growth, we must have the right facilities, whether they are airports, seaports, roads, bridges, etc.," Domingo said.

He said for the part of the government, they have increased the budget allocation for infrastructure, which is over and above the public-private partnership (PPP) projects.

Domingo said that in terms of PPP, $3 billion worth of projects have already been rolled out. These projects are being constructed, while $5 billion worth of projects are in the bidding process, and $12 billion are being worked on and targeted to be launched by the end of the administration.

"From the budget perspective of the government, currently in 2013 the budget, I believe, is 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for infrastructure. This administration is planning to double that...by 2016. That is a huge statement on infrastructure spending," he said.

Domingo said the boost in infrastructure spending will provide the country a growth path for the economic growth in the coming years.

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