Economic growth highest under P-Noy BSP chief (Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – Economic growth has been the highest under the Aquino administration compared to the pace seen during the previous governments, according to the head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr. told the House appropriations committee, chaired by Davao City Rep. Isidro Ungab, that the local economy attained its highest growth of 7.6 percent in 2010 during President Aquino’s first six months in office and the last six months of the Arroyo administration.

In 1999, the last full year of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the gross domestic product grew by a measly 1.1 percent.

Tetangco said in 2011, Aquino’s first full year, growth fell to 3.7 percent before accelerating to 6.7 percent in 2012 and 7.1 percent the year after.

In 2014, GDP growth fell to 6.1 percent. It further slowed down to 5.2 percent in the first quarter of the year.

During Arroyo’s term, the economy expanded by 4.8 percent in 2005, 5.2 percent in 2006, and 4.2 percent in 2008.

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The BSP chief also reported that the country topped a 2014 resilience survey among 21 emerging markets. The Philippines ranked seventh in the 2007 report by the Washington-based Center for Global Development.

Trailing behind was South Korea which was followed by China, Chile, Thailand, Peru, Indonesia, Colombia, Czech Republic, Mexico, Romania, Malaysia, Lithuania, Estonia, Brazil, Poland, Bulgaria, India, Latvia, Hungary, and Argentina.

Tetangco said the country continues to have solid economic fundamentals.

However, he said there are certain external and domestic factors that could affect the domestic economy’s performance.

External factors include the fragile global economic recovery, monetary policy changes in the United States, volatilities in international oil prices, and heightened geopolitical tensions, including the country’s territorial dispute with China.

The domestic conditions that could dent economic growth are natural calamities, including an extended El Niao or dry season phenomenon, and “infrastructure gaps,” he added.

In the same House appropriations committee hearing, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the Philippines was adjudged “most improved nation terms of governance” in 2014 and 2015 studies by Transparency International, World Bank, World Economic Forum, and Heritage Foundation.