Continued improvement of PH economy seen

An economic expert expects continued economic recovery of the Philippines in the coming months particularly after the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions and more aggressive recovery of different sectors.

In a news forum in Quezon City on Saturday, Michael Ricafort, the Chief Economist at Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. (RCBC) was asked about his views on what can Filipinos expect for the next six months.

“So ngayon, nag-i-improve pa po tulad ng ano… tulad noon, holiday season saka bukas na bukas na rin po kasi iyong ekonomiya. Wala na pong large lockdown since last year, since 2022 at July 22 of this year, finally na-lift na iyong COVID state of public health emergency,” Ricafort said.

“So wala na pong restriction; lalo na iyong mga negosyo at industriya na pinakatinamaan ng pandemya, ng mga lockdown… tuloy-tuloy pa rin po iyong recovery. Maraming services na nagre-recover pa rin po like tourism, both local and foreign tourism… tuloy-tuloy pa rin po iyong paglago – low-hanging fruit po iyon.”

Different sectors continue to open up, for example, students returned to in-person learning, more passengers use the public transport system, and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) boost their economic activity, he noted.

Aside from MSMEs, the country’s tourism and services industries also continue their recoveries, contributing to overall economic growth.

“Kasi iyong iba, tuloy-tuloy din po iyong growth like iyong major contributors po sa Pilipinas like iyong remittances – tuloy-tuloy pa rin po iyong growth niyan at the rate of 3 to 4 percent – aabot iyan total, lahat-lahat… more than US$40 billion per year,” Ricafort explained.

“Tapos iyong BPO, tuluy-tuloy pa rin po iyong growth niyan – more than US$35 billion per year. So, number two po iyong Pilipinas sa BPO; sa call center, number one ang Pilipinas; sa remittances, number four po ang ranking ng Pilipinas. Malakas ang ekonomiya.”

Ricafort added that the visit to the Philippines two months ago of Akio Toyoda, the chairman of top global carmaker Toyota, reflects investors’ confidence in the Philippines as an investment destination.

“So in-acknowledge niya, ang Pilipinas according to him, number ten na market sa buong mundo – pinakamalaking market, number ten na pinakamalaking market ang Pilipinas sa buong mundo.”

The Philippine economy has posted a higher gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 5.9 percent in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023, the strongest among major economies in Asia.

The country’s Q3 GDP performance was faster than the 4.3 percent growth in Q2 2023 and exceeded the expectations of private analysts with a median forecast of 4.9 percent. PND

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