Typhoon Pablo's impact on GDP minimal - NEDA

By Kathleen A. Martin, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Dec 18 2012 03:31 PM | Updated as of Dec 18 2012 11:31 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The impact of typhoon Pablo's damage on the domestic economy will only be minimal, Socio-economic planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Tuesday.

"The damage to both infrastructure and production, excluding human lives, would represent about 0.3% of GDP (gross domestic product) [which is] about P32 billion," Balisacan said during his agency's year-end briefing.

"That does not mean that all will be charged against the fourth quarter growth. Some of these will be felt in the first quarter and second quarter [next year]," he continued.

Pablo, which devastated southern Philippines earlier this month, has killed 1,043 people, with 844 more still missing, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Thursday.

The NDRRMC has so far pegged damage to infrastructure and agriculture at P24.16 billion.

The economy, as measured by the GDP, already grew by 6.5% in the nine months to September, above the government's full-year target of 5% to 6%.

"As we have seen in the third quarter growth, much of the growth that we have seen in the industry... is public construction, and this [is] continuing until this time. We are still hoping we would be able to achieve or to spend all based on what is projected for this year," Balisacan said.

Moreover, Balisacan noted reconstruction efforts in Mindanao after typhoon Pablo will help drive economic growth.

"The reconstruction in Mindanao will help rebuild the capital assets [lost]. For the local economy, that of course will help growth in the first half [of next year]," he said.

Balisacan on Tuesday said economic growth is expected at around 6.5% this year, exceeding government's target.