THE government is positive the Philippines will be among the top performing emerging economies in Asia this year, expecting further growth of 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter and claiming reduced criminality in the country.
The Philippines was the fastest-growing Asian economy in the third quarter, posting gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 7.1 percent, according to the National Economic Development Authority.
Citing the government achievements so far under the new administration, Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said industry growth was a robust 6.9 percent, manufacturing posted 8.4 percent and agriculture contributed a positive 3 percent or 4 percent after several quarters of negative. “I think the start of this administration was good,” he said.
“We did 7.1 GDP in the third quarter, so hopefully by the fourth quarter, we’ll have another 7.1 [percent]or more,” Lopez said earlier this week.
Philippine Statistics Authority data for the third quarter shows the Philippines outpaced China’s 6.7 percent, Vietnam’s 6.4 percent, Indonesia’s 5 percent and Malaysia’s 4.3 percent.
“From all indications—robust economy and demand, a lower unemployment rate of 4.7, with more people getting employed, a larger base population, then expect a stronger spending power pulling up consumption spending—we think the momentum is here, leading into 2017,” Lopez said.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar has also claimed the Philippines “is now safer from theft,” including car theft, “robbery, physical injury and rape.”
Lopez also cited an internet report called “Safer Philippines” posted on December 19, which says crime has gone down in the country by more than 34,000 incidents, 500 less rapes, 14,600 less theft. “This is a good indication in terms of security, [that we have]a safer country, and investors like that also. So the core culture of the country should be sound first.”
“We’re taking steps in the right direction. Under the 10-point economic agenda, each of the items there is moving,” Lopez added.