Palace hopes economic rebound in H2 after GDP contraction in Q1
Malacanang expressed optimism on Thursday that the Philippine economy would register a "strong rebound" by the second half of this year following the contraction of the gross domestic product during the first quarter of this year.
In a virtual press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that because the country has a "very sound economic fundamentals" as evidenced by good credit ratings and strong peso, despite the imposition of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine starting March 17 to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease, the "economy contracted only" by 0.2 percent.
He admitted that the economy could continue to shrink in the second quarter since the entire April and the first two weeks of May, ECQ has been imposed in some parts of the country, including Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
"So, we definitely expect a big contraction but the economic planners are very vigilant," Roque said.
Under the ECQ, most businesses have been closed and the people have been asked to remain in their homes to avoid the spread of virus infection.
But Roque said the Palace expects economic recovery in the succeeding third and fourth quarters.
"We foresee a 'V-Shape' of economic recovery. There will be a stiff decline in the GDP for the second quarter perhaps but we expect a very strong rebound," he said.
The economic rebound could be brought by the Build, Build, Build infrastructure program of the government and prudent fiscal and monetary policies, he said.
This means, the official said, "we're using public spending as a tool for economic recovery and we're also using money supply as a tool also for economic recovery."
The Philippines' GDP declined by 0.2 percent during the first quarter, the lowest in 22 years.
Acting National Economic and Development Authority Director General Karl Kendrick Chua attributed the economic contraction to the Taal volcano eruption last January; significant drop in tourism and trade starting in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and the need to implement ECQ in Luzon and other parts of the country starting March. Celerina Monte/DMS