MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), may grow by as much as four percent in 2010 along with the global economic recovery, Finance Secretary Margarito Teves said yesterday.
A four percent GDP growth is higher than the 2.6 percent to 3.6 percent target set by the interagency Development Budget and Coordination Committee (DBCC) for 2010.
“We are looking at a higher economic growth rate next year of between 2.6 percent and 3.6 percent and possibly, even four percent,” Teves said.
He said a four percent growth may be achieved because the world economy is already on the steady path to recovery following the global financial turmoil which struck late 2007.
“Recovery worldwide is ongoing,” Teves said, adding that the United States, which is the country’s biggest export market is on the road to recovery. With this, he said, Philippine exports may also start to recover in 2010.
Teves said that if the economy grows within the 2.6 to 3.6 percent target or possibly even four percent next year, this would help improve collections of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) which have been perennially falling short of their respective revenue targets.
“Overall, I think the situation next year would be better than this year,” the Finance chief said.
This year, battered by the impact of the worldwide financial meltdown and the effects of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, the government expects slower economic growth at a range of 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent.
Economic managers are confident the economy would grow by at least 0.9 percent in the fourth quarter of the year, which would bring full-year growth to at least 0.8 percent.
Earlier, Acting National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) director-general Augusto Santos said a 0.9 percent growth is possible because of Christmas spending and early election expenses by political parties.
He said growth in the agriculture and services sectors could also drive economic growth in the fourth quarter of the year.
In the first three quarters of the year, the Philippine economy grew by 0.7 percent. –Iris C. Gonzales (The Philippine Star)