Philippine Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said it would still be a challenge for the economy to achieve the government’s 7 percent to 8 percent target growth range for 2015, and the government is now reviewing that target.
“Realistically, even the lower end [of that range]is very much a challenge,” Balisacan, who is also director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), told reporters in a press briefing on Thursday following the release of data on the second-quarter performance of the economy.
Figures from the NEDA and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on gross domestic product (GDP) show growth of 5.6 percent in the second quarter, up from the first quarter’s revised 5 percent and a revised 6.4 percent expansion in the year earlier.
“It’s very likely that we will scale down the targets. What would be realistic is a 6.0 percent to 6.5 percent growth for the full year, but again, we will look into other issues and concerns. We are not projecting that [range]right now. What I am talking about is a realistic scenario,” he pointed out.
The Development Budget Coordinating Committee’s Technical Working Group is now working on the numbers and will meet with the NEDA soon to decide on the targets for the rest of year, Balisacan added.
Balisacan explained further: In the process of maintaining stability, the government is mindful of the challenges it faces, including the need to continue improving the absorptive capacity of government to spend available resources well and efficiently; the need to keep pushing for more public and private investments within the local economy; and improving the ability of government in responding to and recovering from disasters arising from natural hazards.
“Lastly, we acknowledge fears about the peso’s depreciation. However, as long as the depreciation is not sharp, the overall net effect of this development is still positive for the economy, especially for our workers,” Balisacan added.