MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is optimistic that the country can withstand the effects of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), but said Filipinos should not be complacent.
Asked whether the Brexit would affect overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the United Kingdom, outgoing Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr expressed confidence that the OFWs’ jobs remain secure.
There are more than 218,000 Filipinos working in the UK, based on statistics from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO).
“Ayon kay Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz ng DOLE [Department of Labor and Employment], karamihan sa mga manggagawang Pilipino sa United Kingdom ay mga nurses. Ang kanilang paglilingkod doon ay hindi nakasalalay sa pagiging miyembro ng United Kingdom sa European Union,” said Coloma. “Ang sumasaklaw sa kanilang pagta-trabaho doon ay mga batas ng United Kingdom, hindi ng European Union.”
(According to Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz of DOLE, most of the Filipino workers in the United Kingdom are nurses. Their jobs there do not depend on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union. Laws of the United Kingdom cover their employment there, not the European Union.)
Coloma, however, also reiterated Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s cautious stance. Purisima earlier said that while the Philippine economy’s good fundamentals would provide insulation, the country should not be overconfident.
“Ayon kay Secretary Purisima ng Department of Finance, hindi dapat maligalig sa kaganapang ‘yan, dahil matatag ang macroeconomic fundamentals ng ekonomiya ng bansa, na nailatag ng Aquino administration sa nakaraang anim na taon. Ganun pa man, hindi dapat maging overconfident o kampante lamang,” Coloma said.
(According to Secretary Purisima of the Department of Finance, we should not be alarmed because we have strong macroeconomic fundamentals which the Aquino administration established in the last 6 years. But just the same, we should not be overconfident or complacent.)
Coloma then called on the incoming administration of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte to accomplish “3 important things.”
“Una, ipagpatuloy ang pagpapalakas sa ekonomiya. Ikalawa, lalo pang pagtibayin ang kumpyansa ng mga investors at ng global financial markets. Ikatlo, ipagpatuloy ang mga repormang tumutukoy sa mga balakid sa mas mabilis na pag-unlad ng ekonomiya,” he said.
(First, continue to strengthen the economy. Second, further boost the confidence of investors and global financial markets. Third, continue the reforms that are meant to address the obstacles to economic growth.)
In a business workshop in Duterte’s hometown of Davao City last June 20, incoming Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez had challenged businessmen to build “coalitions for reform.”
“Let us build public-private partnerships not just for projects but to transform our national community into a cooperative enterprise that brings out the best in everyone and delivers the best for all,” he said.
Dominguez also bared more details of their tax reform plans.
Just 3 days after the May 9 elections, Duterte’s economic team unveiled an 8-point economic agenda, which includes maintaining current macreconomic policies. – Rappler.com
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