Arroyo : Help government weather crisis
By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:01:00 02/25/2009
MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo dared the private sector to “step up to the challenge” and help government pump prime the economy, as she maintained that the government’s stimulus package would succeed.
Arroyo said the government would not wait for the private sector to pool its share of half of the P100-billion public-private infrastructure fund, and would proceed with its projects right away.
“Our government is up to that challenge, government will do its part, but the private sector must step up and seize opportunity,” she said in a speech at an economic briefing in Makati City on Wednesday.
“I call upon leaders of the private sector to take up the challenge in this important time. Join your government and continue to invest in your nation’s future,” she said.
“We must move quickly if we want to make sure that our economy stays on path. Let’s not wait for this and that to move,” she said.
Arroyo said that with recession gripping two-thirds of the world with “tsunami” force, “now is not the time to be laid back and be inactive.”
The President said that the continued growth of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and the gross national product (GNP) while neighboring countries’ economies contracted showed that the government’s stimulus package was working.
“GDP and GNP growth in the face of a recession shows that stimulus works, it shows that it is not bound to fail,” she said.
Arroyo said the government and private sector should “work together to make sure it (the stimulus plan) succeeds.”
The government has set a P330-billion stimulus package for the economy this year, including the P100-billion public-private sector infrastructure fund.
“That stimulus package is always open to refinement as we go along,” she said.
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