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Statement of Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman
Budget Secretary and Development Budget Coordination Committee Chairperson
January 31, 2024
The GDP growth rate of 5.6% for 2023 is proof that we continue to achieve our Agenda for Prosperity: Economic Transformation towards Inclusivity and Sustainability. This solidifies our position as one of the fastest-growing economies in the Asia Pacific region.

We have emerged strongly post-pandemic, with significant growth achieved in spite of the absence of stimulants present in 2022 such as COVID-related expenses, election spending, provisions for Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Service Contracting, and heightened targeted cash transfers due to the pandemic.

It is also worth noting that in the fourth quarter, the Agriculture sector posted a 1.4% growth rate, showing progress in our agricultural development program and further ensuring food security. Meanwhile, growth in total investments accelerated to 11.2 percent in the fourth quarter, reflecting the private sector's greater participation in national recovery through strengthened public-private partnerships (PPPs). In fact, public sector gross fixed capital formation grew largely by 9.7 percent in 2023, boosted by the Build-Better-More Program, despite limited fiscal space.

I am optimistic that we will hit our targets for 2024 as we move from focusing on solidifying our fiscal position to enhancing and fortifying our economic transformation. While we successfully brought down deficit and debt levels in 2023, the FY 2024 General Appropriations Act focuses on priority projects that will stimulate the economy and achieve our economic transformation, specifically in social services, agricultural development, and infrastructure development. This is a strong economic transformation program reflective of the objectives of Bagong Pilipinas that includes even vulnerable and far-flung target areas and will ultimately result in achieving our Agenda for Prosperity.

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