University of the Philippines Visayas

UPV Oeconomicus Vision 2020 Message

Congressman Jerry P. Treñas

It is with great pleasure that I welcome the participants of the Vision 2020 convention of the University of the Philippines Visayas (UPV) Oeconomicus. Through the efforts of the UPV Oeconomicus, the largest pool of young economists in the Visayas, hundreds of young economists, entrepreneurs and business enthusiast have gathered in Iloilo City in order to share their thoughts on the economic state of the Philippines. Moreover, the bright minds gathered in this convention will be able to assess the ability of our country to fulfill the vision of transforming the Philippines into a developed country by 2020.

As a member of the House of Representatives, I am keenly aware of the efforts of both Houses of Congress to enact legislative measures which could ensure that our dream of becoming a developed country by 2020 will be achieved. However, there are numerous roadblocks which must be hurdled in order to ensure that this dream will become a reality in less than a decade. As of the present, the outlook of the country’s economic progression, from both a domestic and an international perspective, is quite positive. The HSBC published a report that predicts that the Philippines will be the 16th largest economy in the world by 2050. Our country’s robust growth and economic reforms have clearly drawn the attention of foreign investors. The partnership between government agencies and the private sector has never been stronger, thanks to the proliferation of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. Indeed, the country is poised to take a giant leap forward towards economic prosperity.

Nevertheless, serious challenges must be addressed in order to continue our positive economic performance. The slowed growth experienced by the country in 2011 proved that the government must do everything in its power to sustain the momentum gained in the previous decade. Attention must be given to the development of our infrastructure, proper management of education so that courses will match the current demand for labor, and fiscal responsibility in order to ensure that our resources are spent wisely. In addition, our government should strengthen its efforts to promote good governance. By doing so, more foreign investors will be enticed to do business in the Philippines.

It is still too early to categorically state that we are right on track to become a developed country by 2020. However, we are in a strong position to do so if we pass the necessary economic reforms, properly manage our economy and train our workforce to be competent in the demands of 21s century labor. It is my strong belief that through the guidance of our economists and business leaders, we could transform our country into an economic powerhouse within a decade. Thank you very much and may we all work together to create a prosperous society for our countrymen.