Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, July 14, 2005


Statement of Senator Richard Gordon

The last few weeks we have been busy and continue to be so in seeking the truth no matter how painful the process may be. However, in doing so, we must not forget the fundamentals, namely, that the country does not depend on the results of these hearings or on the investigations in both houses of Congress on jueteng and the tapes, etc. - these are exercises in aid of legislation and the positive effects will not be immediately apparent to the public and to our people.

Thus, I was pleased to note today that the Department of Finance has assured that economic reforms that have been established and shall continue under the current interim leadership. I am also pleased to note the nomination of former Congressman Margarito Teves as the new Secretary of Finance - I am sure that he will continue to provide effective leadership based on his experience in both the private and public sectors.

Specifically, we must worry and address - as soon as possible - the issue of the downgrading by the international credit agencies of the Philippines sovereign ratings due to two key factors:

1. the perception of political instability due to sometimes wild and unsubstantiated accusations; and

2. the suspension of the E-VAT implementation. I will say nothing further on this second point as the Supreme Court is currently reviewing its position on this matter.

However, the above makes it more difficult for us to compete in the international arena, not only for tourism and investments, but also to be considered as reliable suppliers. Such will negatively impact on our job creation capability with negative consequences on employment and poverty alleviation - not only in the cities but also in the rural areas around the country.

As a legislator, I shall continue to support the institutionalization of reforms in our economic and financial sectors so that institutions can be created to help us address the issues of globalization and competition


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