‘Philippines to bounce back better than neighbors’

‘Philippines to bounce back better than neighbors’

The Philippines as a country is in a better position than its Association South East Asian (ASEAN) neighbors to survive the novel coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

House ways and means committee chairman Joey Salceda said the economy has “strong fundamentals” that make it more resilient than its neighbors.”

Salceda acknowledges that the COVID-19 crisis and measures done by the government like the two-month enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will definitely have an impact in the economy, by the Albay representative that the country can bounce back faster than most ASEAN nations.

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“Our fiscal and monetary position is among the strongest in the region. Our economy is remarkably resilient and we have several advantages over our neighbors,” he told the Philippine Star.
“We will probably hit 46 percent to 48 percent debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) this year, and that would still be among the best in Asia,” Salceda stressed.
The Albay representative maintained the fiscal policies of the Duterte administration have left the local economy robust over the past decade.

“Our largest companies are very liquid, after years of good fiscal and economic stewardship by successive governments, and because of President Duterte’s sound economic policies,” he pointed out.
Salceda said the Philippine having a young population – with a median age of about 25 years – is also an advantage.
“As soon as you pump money into consumers, and as soon as you can reasonably allow them to go out and buy things, everything else begins to come back into place,” he pointed out.
Salceda said he expects the GDP to shrink by as much as 9.6 points in the second quarter of this year.

“If we are able to bounce back to 0.4 percent growth by third quarter and 1.2 percent by fourth quarter, both of which I believe are very reasonable, your full year GDP growth rate could be -1.1 percent, which I think is among the best outcomes you can get given the circumstances,” he said.
“In other words, let’s protect our people and finish the job of defeating this virus. The economy will survive, because our fundamentals will remain very strong,” the lawmaker stressed.
“In this virus, speed is your ally and delay is your biggest enemy,” he added.

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Report from PhilStar

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