MANILA, Philippines – Banking on government plans to boost construction spending and a recovery in global trade, an economic manager said the Philippines may grow more than 5% this 2012.
At the sidelines of an economic forum on Tuesday, February 28, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. said, the country would grow significantly better than 2011’s dismal 3.7% performance.
“We’re hoping it could be higher than 5%,” Paderanga said.
“We know that we will be spending more in infrastructure. Budget spending this year will be much more efficient than last year,” he added.
The country’s economic managers earlier announced that the official growth forecast is 5% to 6%.
The Aquino administration has allocated P19.6 billion in counterpart funds for the government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) flagship infrastructure program, higher than 2011’s P12.5-billion budget.
Of the P19.6-billion allocation, P8.6 billion will be given to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to shore up PPP initiatives under its wing. A total of P6.6 billion of the DOTC’s total budget will be used to implement six PPP projects such as development programs for the Panglao Airport in Bohol, the Puerto Princesa Airport in Palawan, and the New Legazpi Airport in Albay.
Paderanga also said he agrees with the trade department’s growth projection of 6% to 7% for exports.
Government officials blamed the crisis in the United States and in the Eurozone. These dragged export revenues by 6.9% in 2011.
However, for this year, Paderanga said that exports are likely to recover along with the recovery of the United States economy.
“It looks like the US has already turned the corner,” Paderanga said.
Philippine trade is highly skewed toward manufacturing and export of electronics products, but the economic slowdown in key markets in the west resulted in lower demand for electronic products that have parts made in the Philippines. – Rappler.com