After Polls, Gov't Urged to Improve Governance

Article excerpt

The Philippine government needs to devote its energies to improve economic governance after the May 14 national and local elections.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that a favorable environment needs to be developed to attract foreign direct investment, which is now crucial in a context of anticipated slower export growth and the government's ballooning fiscal deficit.

Provided that the Philippines can revitalize the governance reforms and maintain political stability, the exchange rate, stock prices, inflation, and growth rates should all improve, ADB said.

Continued reform of the financial system is expected in 2001, specifically the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the General Banking Law of 2000.

By 2002, ADB noted that any cyclical recovery in global electronics depends on a worldwide recovery of the information and communications technology sector, which will affect the economy's export projections.

By this time, it is expected that reform programs such as the Omnibus Power Bill, long delayed by the country's political problems in 2000 and the intervening elections, will be in place. If the anticipated reduction of the government's fiscal deficit in 2001 is realized, then this enhances growth prospects for 2002, a prerequisite for which, however, is continuing political stability, ADB said. …