MANILA – The Duterte administration is confident that the reopening of more industries amid the prevailing coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic would result in the “rapid and more inclusive” growth of the Philippine economy, Malacañang said on Tuesday.
This, after the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021, a reversal from the 11.6-percent contraction posted in the same period last year but slower than the 12 percent registered in the second quarter of 2021.
In a virtual presser, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the latest GDP growth indicates the country’s economic recovery despite the imposition of stringent quarantine and health protocols from July to September period due to the threat posed by the more transmissible Delta coronavirus variant.
“Bagama’t mas mababa ito sa 12 percent growth noong second quarter, mabuting balita pa rin po ito dahil ang paglago ay nangyari sa gitna ng mahigpit na quarantine na ating pinairal sa gitna ng Delta variant (While it is lower than the 12-percent growth in the second quarter, it is still good news because [the latest growth was recorded] amid the implementation of stricter quarantine measures to fight the Delta variant),” Roque said.
Roque said the Duterte government, especially its economic team, is optimistic about the continued recovery of the Philippine economy.
“Kumpiyansa ang ating economic team at ang buong administrasyon na babalik tayo sa daan tungo sa rapid and more inclusive growth. Mangyayari po ito. Magtiwala lamang po at mag-ingat buhay para sa pagbabalik po ng ating buhay (Our economic team and the entire administration are confident that we will return to the path of rapid and more inclusive growth. It will happen. We just have to give our trust and be careful for our recovery),” he said.
Roque, citing the remarks of the country’s economic managers, said the latest economic growth is “among the highest third quarter growths in the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations and the East Asian region.”
He added that the government’s anti-coronavirus strategies led to the continued expansion of many sectors, including the industry and services sectors that grew by 7.9 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively.
“Inaasahan natin na lalago pa po ang mga ito at ibang mga sektor dahil sa ating ginagawang pagbubukas ng mga negosyo at pagluluwag ng ekonomiya sa ilalim ng Alert Level 2 sa Metro Manila (We expect that these, as well as other sectors, will continue to expand because of the reopening of more businesses and the resumption of more economic activities now that Metro Manila is under Alert Level 2),” Roque said.
Roque, however, reminded the public not to be complacent, telling them that they still need to observe the minimum public health standards against Covid-19.
He also warned of a possible spike in Covid-19 infections if people fail to follow the health protocols.
“Kapag tayo’y nagpabaya, baka mamaya, mag-lockdown na naman. Kapag nag-lockdown, bawas hanapbuhay na naman (If we become complacent, there might be another lockdown. If there is another lockdown, some sectors might be forced to temporarily halt their operations anew),” Roque said. (PNA)