Saturday, 30 May 2009

Philippines expects to avoid recession

Malacañang today belied reports that the Philippines is headed for a recession, saying the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB) report of a 0.4 percent growth in the first quarter of 2009 is “still a growth no matter how small.”

In a radio interview this morning, Presidential Deputy Spokesperson Anthony Golez said it’s true there was a contraction in the first quarter GDP (gross domestic product) but “the 0.4 percent growth is still good news as this is still a growth while 75 percent of the world is having a recession.”

“No matter how modest, the Philippine economy is still growing. And if we include the GNP which includes remittances of Filipino workers abroad, our GDP will grow even more,” Golez said.

What this means is that the country remains on a good track, noting that world economists project that by the second half, the world economy will recover and “we will benefit from such recovery,” Golez added.

He said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, had correctly foreseen the economic slowdown much earlier and adopted steps to avert its impact on the country through such steps as pump priming, job generation and increased infrastructure spending.

She has also adopted safety nets or programs to cushion the impact of the global crisis on the poor as well as frontloaded the bidding of infrastructure projects before the second semester so that when the time comes for their implementation, the funds would already be in place.

He pointed out that during a previous Cabinet meeting, the President ordered the fast-tracking of the bidding for all projects before the second semester.

He added that the government has enough funds for its projects under the newly-approved General Appropriations Act.

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