March 13, 2019

According to estimates of the National Economic and Development Authority, a reenacted budget until April 2019 will bring down full-year GDP growth to 6.1 to 6.3 percent.

“On the other hand, if the budget is passed in August, expect growth to be around only 4.9 to 5.1 percent. Worse, with a full-year reenacted budget, growth can go as low as 4.2 to 4.9 percent,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said on Wednesday.

Pernia also emphasized that a reenacted budget will create a delay in both new and ongoing infrastructure projects, as well as the implementation of public social services such as the Unconditional Cash Transfer and Pantawid Pasada Programs.

“The government would not be able to quickly execute programs and projects. This means that we will miss the opportunity to create as much as 180,000 to 240,000 more jobs, and fail to lift as much as 400,000 to 550,000 more Filipinos out of poverty this year,” he said.

The Philippine economy recorded a full-year GDP growth rate of 6.2 percent in 2018, lower than government’s revised target of 6.5 to 6.9 percent. This is also lower than the 6.7 percent and 6.9 percent recorded in 2017 and 2016, respectively, largely due to the spikes in inflation rates in 2018.

“Even with this, the economy has been steadily growing by at least 6.0 percent for seven consecutive years. Also, in the first ten quarters of the administration, the economy has been growing at an average of 6.5 percent. We need to sustain this momentum, or even accelerate it, now with inflation rate down and within our target range,” Pernia said.

“Thus we call for the immediate passage of the 2019 budget. The longer we wait, the more adverse the effect will be,” he added.