Press Release
April 1, 2013

Cayetano: Rising Tiger Status Must be Felt by the Poor

"We praise the economic resurrection of our country but the effects of the Rising Tiger status must translate to an increase in the purchasing power of the poor."

This was the statement today of Senator Alan Cayetano reacting to the message of President Benigno Aquino III that the Philippines "itself is experiencing a resurrection".

While praising the Aquino Administration for the latest Fitch rating of investment grade, Cayetano was careful to point out that the economic growth will only have meaning if it is felt by every Filipino family, especially the poor.

"The president is truly deserving of praise for having - in his words - 'resurrected' the economy. I do believe that investor confidence is being felt by both foreign and local investors. However, this growth must be met by an equal jump in the quality of life of our poor." Cayetano explained.

Cayetano lauded Aquino for the country's new reputation as the Rising Tiger of Asia. "We now have our own acronym - TIMP: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines. The rest of the world is noticing the country's good governance and its effect is seen in our growing economy. Good governance really is good economics," he said.

However, Cayetano pointed out that the Human Development Index (HDI) of the country has remained unchanged in spite of the country receiving its first investment-grade rating from Fitch, a global rating agency whose ratings will allow the country to attract more foreign direct investments, gain access to more funding sources, and reduce borrowing costs.

The Philippines' HDI ranked by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) remained at 114th out of 187 countries with an index of 0.654, almost the same as in 2011 when the Philippines also ranked 114 with an HDI of 0.651.

"People will feel the effects of a growing economy if we are able to lower prices," Cayetano explained. "Economic growth should translate to an increase in the purchasing power of every Filipino family so our economic policies should be geared towards this objective."

In this light, Cayetano has proposed to lower the value-added tax (VAT) on oil to drive down the prices of commodities resulting from high transportation costs, among others.

Cayetano is currently running under a platform aimed at addressing issues related to PTK: Presyo, Trabaho, Kita. He has been conducting a Listening Tour where he holds discussions with various sectors of Philippine society.

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