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Investments in infra, human capital needed for PHL to achieve inclusive growth —WB

The Philippines should focus on investing in infrastructure and human capital to ensure inclusive growth moving forward, the World Bank said Monday.

“Really prioritizing this time that investments for the physical construction and human capital, and this will create better opportunities for the poor,” Birgit Hansl, lead economist for the Philippines, said in a press briefing in Taguig City.

Hansl noted one of the most pressing issues in the country is inclusive growth, as most individuals do not have a sense of benefiting from economic growth.

The Philippine economy grew at an average of 6.7 percent in 2017, consistent with the government’s target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent.

“This encapsulates the remaining challenge of the inclusiveness of growth,” Hansl noted.

“In the medium-term, there remains a risk that slower progress in the important structural reform policies in support of investment and quality of employment could delay the inclusiveness of economic growth,” she said.

The government plans to spend over P8 trillion on infrastructure development until 2022, largely funded by tax revenue.

This year alone, the Philippines plans to roll out 76 big-ticket projects cumulatively valued at $35.5 billion or P1.1 trillion. —VDS, GMA News