MANILA - Philippine economic managers are sticking to the 6 to 7 percent growth target for 2021 despite the new lockdowns imposed this year.
The cabinet-level Development Budget and Coordination Committee (DBCC) on Monday said it had revisited the growth targets and spending program for 2021 up to 2024 in preparation for President Rodrigo Duterte’s submission of next year’s budget to Congress.
The DBCC said it “reaffirmed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 6 to 7 percent in 2021, 7 to 9 percent in 2022, and 6 to 7 percent in 2023 and 2024” as the number of COVID-19 cases in the country had declined from peaks hit in April, and as the economy gradually reopened.
“To support this outlook, the DBCC emphasized its support to manage risks and continue the gradual and safe reopening of the economy, subject to the strictest compliance to minimum public health standards,” the DBCC said.
The DBCC, which is composed of the finance, budget and economic development departments and the central bank, with these actions, it is “optimistic that the country’s GDP may return to its pre-pandemic levels as early as 2022.”
“The DBCC will review the GDP growth projections after the release of the Q2 GDP in August,” the body said.
Last May, the DBCC lowered its growth forecast for the economy to 6 to 7 percent, from an earlier projection of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, saying the arrival of new COVID-19 variants and the reimposition of stricter quarantine measures would hamper growth.
The Philippine economy suffered the worst contraction among major economies in Southeast Asia last year as the government imposed what has been dubbed as the longest and strictest lockdown in the world.
FROM THE ARCHIVES