Yolanda to cut PH growth – NEDA

LOWER ECONOMIC GROWTH. NEDA sees lower economic growth for 2013 due to the devastation brought by Typhoon Yolanda.

Philippe Lopez/AFP photo

MANILA, Philippines – Massive destruction caused by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) will trim the country’s economic growth this year, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

In a statement on Friday, November 15, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Arsenio Balisacan said Yolanda's effects will likely reduce 4th-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth by as much as 0.8 percentage point, with the country expected to grow by only 4.1% in said quarter.

“NEDA estimates indicate that the fourth-quarter 2013 growth could slow down to 4.1%. The negative impact of the typhoon may linger in 2014 due to reduced production capacity,” Balisacan said.

Before Yolanda struck, the Philippine economy was projected to grow over 7%. This forecast has been lowered to 6.5% to 7%, said Balisacan.

Yolanda, one of the world's strongest typhoon on record, battered the Visayas region on November 8, wiping out entire towns, killing thousands of people and displacing hundreds of thousands more.

“To ensure that we regain lost ground the soonest, we need to accelerate the implementation of social and economic development projects, particularly in the affected provinces,” Balisacan said.

Recovery, reconstruction plan

An inter-agency task force has been formed by the Economic Development Cluster to craft a recovery and reconstruction plan for areas affected by Yolanda, according to NEDA.

The plan will include short- and long-term actions to rebuild facilities, restore social services and revive economic activities in affected communities.

“These actions must be completed in the shortest possible time, to restore people’s means of livelihood and revive economic and business activities,” Balisacan stressed.

The recovery and reconstruction plan will be presented to President Benigno Aquino III in two to 3 weeks.

This will be implemented immediately after relief operations in affected areas have been concluded. – Rappler.com