MANILA – Malacañang said the Philippine government is working on improving the economy, following a credit rating agency's move to lower the growth forecast for the Philippines.
In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said President Benigno Aquino III has ordered the Cabinet to ensure that all agencies under the executive branch pursue an effective budget execution.
Coloma said while the Philippines has limited options in deflecting the effects of a weak global trade, it is more capable of fixing its budget execution, which was one of the factors cited by Moody's in its adjustment of growth forecast for the Philippines to 6 percent, which is slower than its earlier estimate of 6.5 percent.
'''Yung kung ano ang inilaan na pananalapi ay magastos ito sa tamang paraan at sa mga kapaki-pakinabang na mga proyekto para 'yung benepisyo ng pag-unlad ay maramdaman ng ating mga mamamayan,'' Coloma said.
Coloma acknowledged that the government is behind its spending, which is why the Department of Budget and Management continues to monitor the disbursements of all agencies to ensure that the agencies meet their targets.
'''Yung sinasabing surplus, isa ring indikasyon 'yan na medyo behind tayo doon sa spending. Kaya 'yan ang pinagsisikapang pabutihin at paghusayin ng iba't ibang ahensya ng pamahalaan,'' he said.
7% GROWTH HARD TO ACHIEVE
Moody's senior analyst Christian de Guzman earlier said they adjusted the forecast after the economy slowed to its lowest expansion in three years in the first quarter of 2015.
The Philippine economy grew by 5.2 percent in the first quarter of the year, much slower than market expectations, due to weaker growth in industry and agriculture.
De Guzman added that weak global trade, which helped pull down first quarter growth alongside low government spending, may continue to be a drag.
Moody's expects the Philippines can continue to grow faster than most of its peers in Southeast Asia, boosted by the ongoing recovery in the US and low commodity prices, including oil.
The rating agency, however, said it will be difficult for government to hit its full-year target range of 7 to 8 percent without more effective budget execution.
''The government's ambitious growth target may be difficult to achieve in the absence of more effective budget execution,'' Moody’s said.