Bali International Convention Center
6 October 2013

Why inclusive growth matters?

According to President Benigno S. Aquino III, ensuring stability of society, sustainability of growth and social inclusiveness are the factors that answer the question.

“We engender a situation wherein the broader base of society can benefit from opportunities opening up through economic growth,” President Aquino said during his speech at the APEC CEO Summit Conversation with Leaders in Bali, Indonesia.

The President reported that inclusive growth is fostered in the Philippines by investing on social services. He mentioned that the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program currently benefits four million families and has expanded to cover high school education. He further noted that his administration utilizes the Alternative Learning System to educate students from remote communities. He enumerated several laws that were signed under his governance such as the Enhanced Basic Education Act, Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, Sin Tax Reform Act, and Universal Health Care Act.

The President also said that aside from focusing on basic social services, the country has empowered the agriculture, tourism and infrastructure sectors, which are considered to effect great impact on inclusiveness.

In a question and answer segment of the summit, the President was asked about inclusive social policy and whether Asia, especially the Philippines, will choose to lean on the European region that has a bigger social safety net than the United States of America.

He was also asked about the discontinuance of President Obama’s tour in Asia, which included the Philippines. “We perfectly understand the situation. Stability in their economy promotes stability for the rest of the world’s economy and that is something we need if we are to make a better life for all of our people,” the President replied.

When questioned about running for a second term, he laughingly said, “Probably not.” He explained that one benefit of a single-term presidency is not having to worry about making unpopular decisions that will prove beneficial in the future but because pleasing people for the next elections is not part of the agenda.

“Focus on the other is the key to where we want to go,” said the President in closing.

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