Economic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General

Press Conference on the Q2 2015 Performance of the Philippine economy
PSA CVEA Building, East Avenue, Quezon City
27 August 2015


Ladies and gentlemen, members of the media, my colleagues in government, good morning.

            We are pleased to know that the Philippine economy grew by 5.6 percent for the second quarter of the year. This is an improvement from the 5.0 percent growth in the previous quarter and reflects the significant improvement in government spending, especially public construction. The Philippine Statistics Authority’s report also indicates sustained strong performance of the private sector. Importantly, the second quarter GDP growth shows the expanse of the country’s resiliency from the prevailing weakness of the global economy. This growth is currently the third highest among Asia’s major economies, behind China and Vietnam.

            Let me highlight the noteworthy recovery of growth in government spending in the second quarter: government final consumption expenditure rose by 3.9 percent from 1.7 percent in the last quarter. Public construction bounced from a 24.0 percent contraction in the first quarter to a 20-percent growth. This is a result of government’s efforts to address issues on spending bottlenecks, especially for public infrastructure, which held back growth in the first quarter. This significant improvement gives us more confidence about the performance of the public sector in the coming quarters of the year.

            Furthermore, private sector investment maintained its strength in the second quarter. Capital formation grew by 17.4 percent in the quarter, compared to the 8.3-percent growth in the previous year. Private construction maintained a double-digit growth. Concerning trade,  both exports and imports of services showed robust growth in the quarter. Exports of services jumped to a 31.1 percent growth in the second quarter, from a 5.9-percent contraction in the same period last year. This dispels doubts about the sustainability of growth in service-oriented industries, especially in the Business Process Outsourcing or BPO sector. Imports likewise increased by 12.7 percent in the quarter from a 4.9-percent growth in 2014, and we are seeing that much of what is being imported are raw materials and capital goods, indicating sustained private sector confidence in the economy. It is likewise notable that imports of services gained a double-digit growth of 26.3 percent from 9.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014.

            With this positive development in key areas of the country’s growth, we are now looking at an economy that can sustain a high growth trajectory in the future quarters. Despite the GDP number hitting slightly below the government’s target, we recognize that it is much more important to ensure that the growth momentum is sustained. Amid ongoing events in the global economy that may affect the country, the quality and the rate of current growth of the Philippine economy give us some assurance that, with greater vigilance and  persistence in pursuing economic and governance reforms, we can withstand the volatile markets overseas. As one of the countries with a respectable growth compared to other emerging Asian economies, the Philippines remains an attractive market and investment destination. Our economic fundamentals are still strong. Such as similar to FanDuel Promo Code from here. Thus, we have to ensure that we keep on improving this kind of environment to secure stability of the domestic economy and encourage more investments for the generation of much needed high-quality job opportunities.

            But in this process of maintaining stability, we are mindful of the challenges that we are still or will be facing within the domestic front. First, we have to continue improving the absorptive capacity of government to spend available resources well and to efficiently implement crucial programs and projects throughout the country. We need to pay particular attention to infrastructure development, especially transportation networks and power, which are very critical for a growing economy. We need to keep pushing for more public and private investments within the local economy that can help increase the number of available high-quality jobs and improve incomes of Filipinos. Another challenge is in improving the ability of government in responding to and recovering from disasters arising from natural hazards. With the continuing threats of El Niño, we need policies that enable government to quickly respond to calamities and address the needs of various affected sectors. Lastly, we acknowledge fears about the peso’s depreciation. However, as long as the depreciation is not sharp, the overall net effect of this development is still positive for the economy, especially for our workers.

            Overall, the growth in the second quarter shows that we are still on the right track in achieving our country’s development goals, especially within our objectives outlined in the Philippine Development Plan 2011-2016. But every achievement in the process of attaining a high and inclusive growth brings about new challenges. Thus, the government will continue to strive further to address these challenges through policy and regulatory reform, improvement of public services, increase in participatory governance, and infrastructure support. Moving forward, if the gains are maintained and expanded with the help of the needed reforms, the future looks bright for economic growth and inclusive development.

            Salamat at mabuhay tayong lahat!