Dominguez sees hitting lower end GDP growth target for this year
The Philippines is in "a very good position" to achieve its low-end economic growth target for this year, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said on Monday.
"We will certainly in a very good position to hit the lower end of the target of 6-7 percent this year," Dominguez said in a press conference in Nonthaburi, Thailand where he is joining President Rodrigo Duterte in the 35th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits.
"Unfortunately," he added, saying this was because of the five-month delay in the approval of the 2019 budget as well as the failure of government to start new infrastructure projects during the election period this year.
With that, he said there was close to P1 billion underspending everyday.
"Definitely, investment in infrastructure suffered because of that," Dominguez added.
The Philippine Statistics Authority is set to announce the third quarter gross domestic product growth on November 7.
While Dominguez could not give any estimate for the third quarter GDP growth, he agreed with predictions that the economic expansion could have exceeded the first and second quarters.
During the first and second quarters this year, GDP hit 5.6 percent and 5.5 percent, respectively.
The finance chief said the government has ramped up with spending, which stimulated the economy and created job, among others.
He expressed belief that the proposed P4.1 trillion budget for next year would be passed by Congress on time.
"I'm very happy though that this Congress now headed by Alan Peter Cayetano has approved the budget very early and that I'm pretty sure that the Senate will concur and give their approval as well within this year," Dominguez said. Celerina Monte/DMS