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Palace confident of meeting growth target for 2020 despite coronavirus outbreak

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By Prince Golez

In the wake of the novel coronavirus crisis, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles has expressed confidence that the Philippines will achieve its economic growth target of 6.5 percent for 2020.

Speaking to reporters, Nograles said the government is taking a “hands-on approach” and acting proactively to detect and contain the virus.

“While Covid-19 is expected to impact the global economy, we believe that achieving our 2020 growth target of 6.5 percent is possible, as the effects are usually short-lived and generally affect only the first quarter,” the Palace official said.

“Recent history has shown that the Philippine economy is resilient given its robust domestic demand and production. We are riding on a strong growth momentum, with our GDP growth accelerating to 6.4 percent in 4th quarter of 2019 from 6.0 percent in the 3rd quarter,” he added.

Nograles also said it is likely that the Philippine economy will exhibit a “strong recovery” from the impact of coronavirus, which has spread to more than two dozen countries.

“There’s a consensus that even if the 1st quarter GDP growth will slow down, mitigating measures, quick responses, and low mortality rates would not hurt productivity. Domestic demand is still growing, and we have a big domestic economy,” according to him.

“We are not as heavily dependent on the rest of the world, compared to our other neighboring countries. This implies that the economic momentum would allow the country to sustain its growth trajectory towards meeting the full-year GDP growth target range of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent in the near term and over the medium term,” he said.

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