Gibo targets 8% GDP growth if elected

By DateLine Philippines

Administration presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr. vowed to work for an 8 percent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) that would be sustainable throughout his term should he win the May 10 elections.

Facing members of the Makati Business Club (MBC) Thursday, Teodoro also vowed to raise the gross per capita income from of Filipinos from $1900 to $3200.

Teodoro acknowledged that his targets would be a “tall order,” but added that good governance and good fiscal policy would make these attainable.

“It’s a tall order but it must be a goal that all of us set our minds to in order for us to get out of the hole that we are in and sustain growth in the face of competition,” he said.

Teodoro said he would not interfere with the functions of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to ensure the stability of exchange rate and prices.

“I would institutionalize the independence of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) for exchange rate stability, price stability and, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said.

Teodoro also said current BSP governor, Amado Tetangco “is doing a splendid job.”

The Lakas-Kampi standard-bearer said he would study the possibility of raising taxes depending on the impact on the economy of the El Niño and the elections.

He said he agreed with the proposal of former budget secretary Benjamin Diokno to raise the e-VAT (value added tax) from 12 to 15 percent and at the same time reduce the personal income tax to 25 percent.

“I agree in principle that we may have to increase consumption taxes for the simple reason that our income taxes and corporate taxes are the highest in this area, to the point of being uncompetitive, and unfortunately, income taxes and corporate taxes capture only a certain segment” of the taxpaying population, he noted.

“What I propose, if need be, (is) that we only increase perhaps the base of e-VAT. Secondly, if it is unavoidable, the rate of e-VAT and other excise and specific taxes, particularly on sin products,” Teodoro said.

The next president, he said, should use his first 100 days “to get the roadmap in place” and focus attention on growth areas like food, technology, high value agriculture, tourism and wellness.

MBC president Alberto Lim said the businessmen who attended the forum were “very impressed” with Teodoro, but added that the candidate’s association with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was keeping him down.

“Gibo is very articulate, parang malinis, kaya lang yung mga nasa likod nya or dahil kasi nakatuntong siya kay GMA,” he told reporters after the meeting. “He’s already said I’m running because of GMA, that’s the whole basis of his campaign that’s why he’s rating so low, if he had run under NPC (Nationalist People’s Coalition), I’m sure his rating would be higher.”

He said MBC members are looking for somebody who would govern differently than the incumbent.

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