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Roxas vows to make PHL like Singapore

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(Photo from Philippine Star)


NAGA CITY —Administration standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, who once said he will not promise what he can’t deliver, said he could turn the Philippines into a Singapore-like tiger economy if elected in the coming elections.


“We have been branded as the ‘Sick Man of Asia’ before; we became ‘Asia’s Bright Star’ through the administration of President Aquino; and in the coming years, we will be known as ‘Superman of Asia,’” Roxas said here last week.


Roxas said there is no reason to doubt the country’s capability to become the next economic rockstar of Asia, noting that all the fundamental foundations have already been laid down through honest and good governance.


Asked of how he intends to do it, Roxas said the formula lies on the expansion of the Bottom-Up Budgeting (BUB) which he sees as a good catalyst to achieve more economic development.


The camp of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte immediately branded Roxas' program as the Liberal Party’s tool to win support from the local government officials.


“The BUB is like a rocket booster. It will be energized to propel the country to greater heights,” he said.


Under the BUB plan, Roxas said he would allocate P100 billion every year for countryside development – the budget, that will depend on the population of each barangay, town and city, will be at P1,000 per person.


If a town, for instance, has 50,000 population, it will automatically receive P55 million that will be used to implement projects and programs.


What is new with the BUB is that it is the people who will decide on the kinds of projects and programs that they would want to implement, he explained. That is a paradigm shift from the usual policy of the national government where the governor, congressman or mayor dictate what project will be implemented, he said.


The BUB will be the centerpiece of my economic program for the poorest of the poor,” said Roxas.


Earlier, President Aquino told barangay officials that the BUB, set up in 2013, has allocated P74.06 billion to 54,000 approved BUB projects.


Roxas pointed out that such a policy is surely a safeguard to corruption since more sectors will be tapped for monitoring and assessment of budget spending.


“We can say that our progress is not only based on statistics, not only on GDP [gross domestic product], not only on per capita, not only on economists point of view. We can declare that progress was felt by all the 42,000 barangays throughout the country,” he said.


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