MANILA, Philippines - Which among the five Philippine presidents since 1986 saw the strongest gross domestic product (GDP) growth in their first two years in office?
According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) secretary general Jose Ramon Albert, President Benigno Aquino notched the highest annualized rate of GDP at 4.5% in his first 9 quarters of service.
On the other hand, President Fidel V. Ramos (June 30, 1992 to June 30, 1998) saw the slowest GDP growth at 3.4%.
The NSCB compared the GDP growth of the first two years of service of each president since 1986: Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino.
However, Albert cautioned against attributing the GDP performance to a President or his economic team.
While some analysts say that changes in GDP are reflective of how the Philippine president and his economic team are managing the economy, Albert noted other analysts would say that each president faced different economic conditions.
First year luck?
A new President always brings renewed optimism to the economy. Among the five presidents, PNoy got the highest GDP growth rate in his first year of presidency with 5.4%.
On the other hand, the lowest GDP was seen under Estrada's (June 30, 1998- January 20, 2001) first year of office with 0.1%. But Albert pointed out that Erap assumed office during the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis.
PNoy also got the highest GDP growth rate in his second year of service with 4.9%, while Ramos had the lowest with 3.4%.
Cory Aquino and Arroyo, who both assumed office via People Power, saw growth in the domestic economy during their second year of office.
"The domestic economy of Cory and GMA both accelerated in their second year with 4.3 percent from 3.4 percent and 3.6 percent from 2.9 percent, respectively," Albert said.
However, the results are different when comparing the performance of the economy under the three presidents that completed their terms of office, Cory Aquino, Ramos and Arroyo.
"We would observe that the domestic economy performed best during the time of President GMA. The GDP average annualized growth rate (AAGR) hit 4.1 percent mainly driven by the services sector. The highest GDP annual growth rate was recorded in 2004 with 6.7 percent while the lowest was posted in 2009 with 1.1 percent," Albert said.
Arroyo assumed the presidency on January 20, 2001, and finished Estrada's term until June 30, 2004. She was elected as President, assuming office from July 1, 2004 to June 30, 2010.