MANILA – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said economic rebound largely depends on health-related measures by the government and the public’s cooperation even as the economy continues to show green shoots of recovery.
In his speech during the virtual Regional Macroeconomic Conference series on Tuesday, Diokno said economic recovery hinges on the speed of the vaccination rollout, the expansion of the capacity of the healthcare system, and the citizen’s commitment to observing the health protocol.
These measures, Diokno said, will allow the country to safely reopen the economy and resume more economic activities.
“The challenges of the pandemic may stay with us for a while, but we are hopeful that we will get back to where we were before the pandemic by the second half of next year. Now, more than ever, each one of us needs to walk together and watch each other’s back(s) so that no one gets left behind in this continuing journey,” he said.
One of the positive economic developments that Diokno cited is the rebound of the economy in the second quarter of this year which grew by 11.8 percent, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP).
Domestic output from April to June this year ended the five-quarter GDP contraction since the first quarter of 2020 and was a big jump from the decades-low -17 percent in the second quarter of last year.
Diokno also cited the drop of the unemployment rate, improvement of both the consumer and business confidence, credit rating affirmations, and upticks in foreign direct investments (FDIs), remittance inflows, and foreign currency reserves.
Latest central bank data show that gross international reserves (GIR) rose to USD107.96 billion as of end-August this year, inflows from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) grew by 6 percent year-on-year last July to USD19.783 billion, and FDI net inflows last June rose by 60.4 percent year-on-year- to USD833 million.
Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data also show that the unemployment rate last July posted its lowest since April 2020 at 6.9 percent.
Aside from prioritizing health-related measures to boost economic rebound, Diokno underscored the need to further buoy the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the pandemic’s impact.
“Considering that MSMEs are the backbone of the economy, measures to help MSMEs recover would significantly redound to the resurgence of the entire country,” he added. (PNA)