MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ economic managers raised the country’s economic growth target as COVID-19 cases have declined and more businesses are reopening.
The Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on Tuesday, December 14, said it aims for gross domestic product (GDP) growth to hit 5% to 5.5% in 2021, slightly higher than the previous target of 4% to 5%.
The DBCC revised the target after GDP growth hit 7.1% during the third quarter, beating estimates despite the spread of the Delta variant.
GDP growth targets for 2022 and 2023 were retained at 7% to 9% and 6% to 7%, respectively.
So far, GDP growth has averaged at 4.9% for the first three quarters of 2021, already at the upper end of the old target band.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) also turned optimistic on Tuesday, predicting that the Philippine economy will grow 5.1% in 2021 and 6% in 2022, up from its September forecast of 4.5% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022.
“The Philippine economy has shown impressive resilience,” said ADB Philippines Country Director Kelly Bird.
“Growth momentum has clearly picked up on the back of the government’s vigorous drive to vaccinate Filipinos against the COVID-19 virus. Public spending on infrastructure and continued vaccination of the population will help the country further accelerate its recovery in 2022.”
Meanwhile, the DBCC sees revenues for 2021 hitting P3.027 trillion, as more agencies are able to collect due to relaxed quarantine measures.
They likewise expect revenue collections returning to pre-pandemic levels at P3.3 trillion in 2022 and P3.6 trillion in 2023.
As for the 2023 national budget, the DBCC projects that it could reach a record P5.242 trillion, given the revised economic assumptions.
“The proposed FY 2023 national budget will continue to provide the necessary funding requirements to support the country’s resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic and to sustain economic growth,” the DBCC said.
The proposed 2023 budget will be approved by the next administration. – Rappler.com