Sec. Dominguez optimistic on economic recovery from COVID-19 [Online Economic Forum hosted by Security Bank]

Security Bank online economic forum
Veteran Financial Journalist Cathy Yang acts as the moderator for the Q&A portion of the 2020 Security Bank Economic Forum with Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Finance Undersecretary Tony Lambino

Negosentro | Philippines Finance Sec. Dominguez is optimistic about economic recovery from COVID-19 by the country. He said this during the first Online Economic Forum hosted by Security Bank.

Despite the modified enhanced community quarantine, Security Bank Corporation (SBC) successfully held its first online forum last August 6, 2020, to debate the impact of COVID-19 within the economy, economic outlook, and recovery plans.

Appearing as the main keynote speaker of the event is Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez, who projected a robust economic rebound of around 6.5-7.5% GDP growth in 2021. This comes after a contraction of -16.5% was posted by the Philippine Statistics Agency.

Secretary Dominguez, who has been vocal on its projection on the country’s economic curve, reiterated the necessity to seek out the balance between safety and therefore the economy to make sure the country’s continued growth at the time of the pandemic.

Dominguez said, “Even as we navigate through ongoing circumstances, we shall maintain fiscal discipline, make our financial sector more inclusive and introduce more reforms which will help us consolidate and progress this environment.”

Dominguez also highlighted the four legislative imperatives to revive the economy and convey it back to its robust position. This includes seeking congressional approval to infuse additional capital to government financial institutions, allowing banks to dispense of non-performing loans and assets through asset management companies, immediate passing of the CREATE Act, and providing greater support to the agriculture sector.

“CREATE isn’t industry-specific. it’s to scale back the rate for all companies, not only big foreign companies. that’s a discount from 30% CIT to 25%, and further reductions down the road. which will provide the economy with the most important stimulus if ever. This proves that the government is trusting the private sector,” Dominguez added.

Meanwhile, Security Bank President & CEO Sanjiv Vohra, said that the Philippines is in a better position to face up to the economic impact of the pandemic, citing reports from The Economist also because the country’s improved revenue flows, tax reforms and wise spending.

“Overall, the Philippines is said to be in a good position to withstand the economic impact of COVID-19. We’ve been ranked sixth by the UK’s Economist newspaper among other emerging global economies. The country’s fiscal and economic strength borne out of improved revenue flows, tax reforms, debt management, and wise spending and investing, have served us well,” Vohra said.

Security Bank’s Chairman Alberto S. Villarosa opened the forum by describing things through the acronym VUCA and thanking the event’s guest for allowing Security Bank to form them more informed of things and be well-equipped to handle what’s coming.

“We are certainly facing something we’ve not faced before, a minimum of not in our lifetime. this is often something totally new and unknown. What best describes this current situation comes from the US Military College, the acronym VUCA: volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity…We believe that the more you recognize, the higher your chances to not only survive, but thrive in these trying times,” Villarosa said.

Each year, the bank organizes an economic forum as a part of its efforts to arm business leaders with information that will guide them in making the simplest business and financial decisions. The bank conducted its first economic roadshow last year and visited six key investment hubs nationwide to supply insights straight from the experts. thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank decided to carry its forum online.

Over 700 clients and stakeholders nationwide joined the online forum.

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