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26/04/2018: SENATOR LEGARDA, SEC DIOKNO ENGAGE IMF CHIEF ON PH ECONOMY, PH-IMF COOPERATION

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-31-2018
26 April 2018

Philippine Delegation co-heads, Senator Loren Legarda and Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno, meet with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on 21 April 2018 in Washington, D.C., on the sidelines of the recently concluded 2018 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Loren Legarda and Budget Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno met with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on 21 April 2018 in Washington, D.C., on the sidelines of the recently concluded 2018 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group and the IMF.

Senator Legarda expressed appreciation for the strong partnership between the Philippines and IMF, particularly in technical assistance that helps strengthen Philippine institutions such as the development of capital markets.

Secretary Diokno briefed Madame Lagarde about the efforts to reform the budget process and address chronic under-spending that impact on infrastructure development. He also noted to the IMF delegation that the Philippines is considered #1 in Asia for government budget transparency, and is 19thin the world.

Senator Legarda and Secretary Diokno shared the legislative and executive branch perspectives, respectively, with respect to important initiatives such as tax reform, budget reform, the massive Build Build Build infrastructure development program, climate tagging and climate resilience in the national budget, and social investments in education and health-care.

Madame Lagarde congratulated Senator Legarda and Secretary Diokno on the performance of the Philippine economy, including the monetary and financial systems. She also pledged the IMF’s continuing cooperation and assistance in vital areas as the country continues to aim for sustainable and inclusive growth. She noted that the IMF can help explore various fiscal tools that can design an appropriate fiscal program for the Philippines. She also made reference to IMF studies on how economies such as the Philippines can improve growth prospects by improving productivity in services.

“My meeting with Christine Lagarde was a fitting end to a ‘fast and furious’ week in Washington,” Senator Legarda stated after the meeting.

“I expressed my deep appreciation for the work that the IMF is doing on emerging issues that cover climate change, gender, income inequality, and strong governance. These are non-traditional areas that are nevertheless critical for ensuring sustainable macroeconomic stability,” Senator Legarda added.

“Madame Lagarde was impressed by the strong economic performance of the Philippines. I am confident she noted our solid work on improving fiscal spending, broadening the tax base, undertaking appropriate physical infrastructure and social protection investments, and improving budget transparency,” Secretary Diokno also said in a statement after the meeting.

Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez, and officials from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Embassy joined Senator Legarda and Secretary Diokno in the meeting.

Secretary Diokno and Senator Loren Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committees on Foreign Relations, Finance and Climate Change, jointly led the Philippine Delegation to the 2018 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group in Washington, D.C., USA held on 19-22 April 2018. ###