Economic growth target 'doable' as PH sees 'biggest' COVID recovery: Chua

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2022 12:33 PM

 People visit shops along Binondo, Manila on Chinese New Year, February 1, 2022 as Metro Manila is put under the looser Alert Level 2 restriction with COVID-19 cases declining steadily. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File
People visit shops along Binondo, Manila on Chinese New Year, February 1, 2022 as Metro Manila is put under the looser Alert Level 2 restriction with COVID-19 cases declining steadily. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File


MANILA - The Philippine economy is seeing one of the world's fastest recovery from the impact of the pandemic but the next government should remain prudent to keep the current gains, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said Monday.

The economy expanded by 8.3 percent in the first quarter of 2022, a reversal from the 3.8 percent contraction in the same period last year. 

This brings the country closer to its 7 to 9 percent growth target, with the gross domestic product needing to grow just by 6.6 percent in the next 3 quarters to hit the lower end, Chua told ANC.

“That’s, I think doable, there are risks as I’ve mentioned...We were just hit by the pandemic but we are seeing the biggest bounce back in the entire world… The bulk of the growth is going to come from domestic demand and we have to ensure a strong domestic rebound, which we are seeing,” he said. 

“Maintaining strong macro-fiscal position, being prudent, living within our means, raising tax revenues [are crucial] so we can fund the priority spending and infra and human capital,” he added.

Reforms also need to be continued by the next administration to keep the pace of recovery, he said. Some low-hanging fruits are the "better implementation" of universal healthcare and the ease of doing business law, Chua said. 

But he said the government must keep an eye on looming risks such as the Russia and Ukraine crisis, the slowdown in China's economy and the US' aggressive policy normalization.

Chua said the National Economic and Development Authority has not met the next administration's transition team but they are ready anytime. 

President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic team will step down on June 30 to give way to the new administration. There is no formal announcement yet as to who will become the members of presumptive president Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr's economic cluster. 

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