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DOF: Build Build Build to narrow inequality in PH

The Department of Finance (DOF) said Friday the Duterte administration's ambitious infrastructure program dubbed the Build Build Build Program, will contribute greatly to narrowing inequality among regions.

In its Economic Bulletin on gross regional domestic product (GRDP) released Friday, the department showed that inequality was slightly tempered in 2017, with coefficient of variation (CV) -- the simplest gauge of inequality -- standing at 1.969 in 2017 from 1.970 in 2016.

“GRDP continued to show increasing inequality in 2016, but this has been tempered slightly in 2017 as the less affluent regions grew faster than the traditional growth centers,” DOF’s Economic Bulletin noted.

For instance, GRDP in the National Capital Region (NCR) slowed down to 36.44 percent in 2017 from 36.63 percent in 2016, while Region 4-A (Calabarzon) decelerated its growth to 18.34 percent from 18.35 percent.

Increments in GRDP were registered in non-traditional growth areas, such as the Cordillera Administrative Region with 1.69 percent in 2016 to 1.77 percent growth in 2017; Cagayan Valley, from 1.72 percent to 1.73 percent; and Soccsksargen, from 2.62 percent to 2.66 percent.

The DOF mentioned that based on regression analysis using 2014 to 2016 data, investment rate and infrastructure endowments are the most significant variables affecting the GRDP per capita.

“Mobilizing revenues to increase fiscal space for the Build Build Build Program is the best strategy to boost regional incomes,” the DOF said.

“As more roads and ports are built in lower income regions, investments in productive enterprises will follow, thus generating more jobs and raising incomes. This will enhance each region’s economic potentials and move the less developed regions closer to the income level of more developed regions,” it added.

Kris Crismundo /PNA