Philippine economy posts strong growth in second quarter

Jojo Riñoza and Dennis Jay Santos
2022.08.09
Manila and Davao, Philippines
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Philippine economy posts strong growth in second quarter Rowers travel through the Pasig River in Mandaluyong city, part of Metro Manila that drives the nation’s economy, Aug. 9, 2022.
Jojo Riñoza/BenarNews

The Philippine economy grew by 7.4 percent in the second quarter compared with the same period last year as much of the country reopened from COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions, officials said Tuesday.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that the growth placed the Philippines “as the second best performing nation” among Southeast Asia’s emerging economies, trailing only Vietnam, which logged 7.7 percent, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said. 

“Our country’s recovery from its most significant economic and health challenge remains strong due to improved risk management as more social and economic activities have been allowed,” he said in a statement.

“For the remainder of the year, we must apply the same or even better risk management protocols and protect the most vulnerable against high inflation and other shocks and scarring due to COVID-19.” 

The economic performance was in line with the government’s expectations of a growth trajectory between 6.5 percent and 7.5 percent for 2022, Balisacan said. However, he noted, the second quarterly performance was slightly lower than the revised 8.2 percent figure for January to March. 

During the second quarter, production from all sectors expanded, driven by the services and industry sectors at 9.1 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively, the statistics office said. The agriculture sector remained weak with a 0.2 percent growth because of its vulnerability to natural calamities and rising costs. 

71.8M vaccinated

Balisacan noted that the government’s decision to ease health alert restrictions and open the tourism sector, coupled with an extensive vaccination rollout program, helped spur the economy. 

The health department has said that 71.8 million of the country’s 110 million people are fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, new President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has promised to bump up that number by 7 million by October.

If that happens, the government could eventually remove all health restrictions and spur more economic activity, officials have said.

As of June, about 85 percent of the country was on the lowest alert level for the coronavirus. Last month, Marcos ruled out any more declarations of lockdowns. 

“We are committed to pursuing the country’s full reopening, including the return of face-to-face schooling to address the learning losses and increase domestic activities. This push will begin with the health sector’s efforts to increase booster uptake,” Balisacan said. 

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