Batangas, Lipa, booming with love, lifestyle, education, business

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BATANGAS has been in the news with a series of attention-catching events clearly showing that it is a province on the move. Most famously, recently, there was the Governor Mandanas-Chua lovely wedding, bringing the highest profile guests to the province, and the ICTSI investment of $800 million for the biggest private port investment ever in the Philippines, expected to be finished by 2027. The University of Batangas achieved a record 100 percent first-time passers for the electrical engineering licensure — 63 out of 63. In Lipa, the new National University opened, along with a series of lifestyle enterprises sprouting up to become mini-tourist destinations. A new convention center and city government centers are also being built.

Early this year, the newly minted secretary of the Department of Finance, Ralph Recto, also a Batangueño, was welcomed by the business community and government agencies. The former senator is a proven veteran not just in politics but in finance and business, having been the shepherd of the institution of VAT under then-president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. Beyond any political differences, it is undisputed among analysts, even among the opposition, that the VAT is what fundamentally allowed the Philippines to enter stability financially after decades of fiscal deficits and allowed us to accumulate enough capital to go on the investment programs that have on several years made the country the fastest-growing economy of Southeast Asia.

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