NEDA’s Chua’s ‘achievable’ economic growth goal
MANILA – The Philippine economy is enjoying one of the fastest recoveries in the world from the impact of the pandemic, but the next government should remain cautious to maintain current gains, the Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning said Monday, Karl Chua.
The economy grew 8.3% in the first quarter of 2022, a reversal from the 3.8% contraction in the same period last year.
This brings the country closer to its growth target of 7-9%, with gross domestic product expected to grow only 6.6% over the next 3 quarters to reach the bottom, Chua told the ANC.
“It’s, I think doable, there are risks as I mentioned… We’ve just been hit by the pandemic but we’re seeing the biggest rebound in the whole world… Most of the growth will come from domestic demand and we need to ensure a strong domestic rebound, which we are seeing,” he said.
“Maintain a strong macro-fiscal position, be prudent, live within our means, increase tax revenues [are crucial] so that we can fund priority spending and infra and human capital,” he added.
Reforms must also be continued by the next administration to maintain the pace of recovery, he said. Some low hanging fruits are the “best implementation” of universal health care and the ease of doing business law, Chua said.
But he said the government needed to keep an eye on looming risks such as the Russian and Ukrainian crisis, the slowing Chinese economy and the aggressive normalization of US policy.
Chua said the National Economic and Development Authority has not met with the next administration’s transition team, but is ready anytime.
President Rodrigo Duterte and his economic team will step down on June 30 to make way for the new administration. There is no official announcement yet as to who will become members of the economic cluster of presumed president Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr.