MANILA -- The Philippine economy likely grew 6.5 to 6.7 percent in 2018, maintaining one of the world's fastest growth rates, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno said Tuesday.
Economic growth slowed to 6.1 percent in the July to September 2018 period, dragged by storm damage to crops. Official data for the succeeding quarter and the full year are due out on Jan. 24.
"The President is very much aware that it is agriculture that is dragging the economy," Diokno told ANC's Headstart.
President Rodrigo Duterte described agriculture as the "weakest link" in the economy, Diokno said, recalling a recent meeting with the executive and Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel Pinol.
Diokno said the President was "putting pressure" on Pinol to aid the farm sector. Some P5 billion for seeds and farm implements were recently released to the Department of Agriculture, the budget chief said.
Growth will pick up to 7 to 8 percent "in the years to come," Diokno said, adding, "You just trust your government. We are doing everything we can to make up for past neglect."