Disasters didn’t stop Philippine economy from Growth
by FFE PH News Staff
Despite the wave of disasters that hit the Philippines during the second half of 2013, the Philippine economy registered positive growth at 7.2%, higher than the government’s goal of 6-7%.
The Philippine Statistics Authority, a new agency that collects all government statistics, also announced that the growth for 2013 was also higher than 2012’s 6.8%. Socioeconomic planning secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the 2013 figures made the Philippines Asia’s second fastest-growing economy after China, which registered 7.7% growth.
Balisacan said that the economy would have registered 7.3% growth if not for the disasters that hit the country last year, including the Zamboanga siege in September, the October earthquake in Bohol and the devastation brought by typhoon Yolanda in November. The government expected growth to fall to 4.1% after the disasters. But unusual growth in the manufacturing sector, boosted by local investments, helped offset the losses.
Despite the positive economic atmosphere, many Filipinos still believe that the quality of life fell in the past 12 months. This is according to Pulse Asia’s December 2013 survey. The country also hit a poverty rate of 25.2% which the government recognises as president Aquino’s biggest challenge.
Finance secretary Cesar Purisima said the steady growth despite the disasters was a sign of the economy’s resiliency against calamities. But he also confessed that disaster preparedness should still be improved further through infrastructure and programmes for the poor.
For this year, the government said it is confident growth would hit 6.5 to 7.5%. However, the private sector reminded the government that growth should be felt by the majority of Filipinos.