Press Release
November 29, 2012

Legarda lauds PHL's improving economy,
stresses inclusive growth, sustainable dev't

Senator Loren Legarda today hailed the country's improving economy as she stressed that the benefits of such progress should reach even the far-flung communities in the country.

Legarda was reacting to a report from the National Statistical Coordination Board that the Philippine economy grew 7.1% in the third quarter of 2012, the highest among countries in Southeast Asia, and the second highest in Asia.

"I laud the efforts of our government in improving the country's economy. This certainly brings optimism to our citizens. However, such optimism can only be maintained if there is actual improvement in the quality of life. Growth, no matter how high, will only be appreciated by the people if its benefits actually trickle down even to the far-flung barangays in the country. This should include efficient delivery of basic services especially to the poor rural communities," she said.

The Senator brought to the fore again the observations of International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde that growth should be inclusive--it should be felt not only by the rich and those in the middle class, but also, and more importantly, by the poor.

Legarda also reminded the conservation of the environment, stressing that it should never be compromised for the sake of development.

"The decline of our ecosystems has been determined as one of the underlying drivers of disaster risks and poverty, in the context of climate change. Therefore, protecting ecosystems--which involves rehabilitating our forests, cleaning our rivers, and stopping pollution, among other actions, must be done now," she pointed out.

In ensuring inclusive growth, Legarda said that investing heavily in the countryside must be included in development initiatives--support for the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises to create more employment opportunities; establishing livelihood training programs; and, providing technical and financial support to farmers and fisherfolk.

"What we must aim for is not mere progress, but sustainable development and inclusive growth--never neglecting the most vulnerable sectors of society and never sacrificing the environment in the face of progress," Legarda concluded.

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