Malacañang on Monday said “the worst is over” as the Philippine economy started to recover despite contracting by 11.5 percent in the third quarter.
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the slump has started to ease after the gross domestic product (GDP) recorded an 11.5 percent in the third quarter from 16.9 in the second quarter.
“Siyempre po ‘yan ay malungkot pa ring balita pero ‘yan ay improvement doon sa 16.5 sa pagbaba ng ekonomiya noong second quarter (Of course that is still sad news but that’s an improvement from the 16.5 contraction of the economy in the second quarter),” he said.
He said the economy has started to improve after coronavirus-related lockdowns were eased.
“So nagre-recover na po ang ating ekonomiya from an all-time low of 16.9 I stand corrected, 16.9 pala ang contraction ng ating ekonomiya, ngayon po naging negative 11.5 so bahagyang umangat na po ang ating ekonomiya. Nagpapatunay po na the worst is over (So our economy is recovering from an all-time low of 16.9, I stand corrected, 16.9 contraction of the economy, now it is negative 11.5 percent so our economy has slightly improved. It proves the worst is over),” he added.
Roque said this figure was expected as a result of reverting to a stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and Region 4-A (Calabarzon) last August.
“Kaya naman po nangyari ito, kasi nga po nag-MECQ na naman tayo sa Metro Manila at ilang mga probinsiya sa Calabarzon at dito po nanggagaling talaga ang 60 percent ng ating GDP (The reason why this happened is because we had to revert to MECQ in Metro Manila and some provinces in Calabarzon and this is where 60 percent of our GDP comes from),” he said.
While the Covid-19 threat still exists, Roque said the country is now more knowledgeable about ways to mitigate its spread.
“So ang mensahe po natin, nandiyan pa po si Covid, pero alam na po natin kung paano maiiwasan si Covid. Kinakailangan lang po talagang buksan ang ekonomiya, pero kinakailangan po mask, hugas, iwas (So our message is, Covid still exists, but we know how to avoid contracting Covid. We really need to reopen the economy, but we also need to wear masks, wash hands, and observe physical distancing),” he said.
The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier said the country’s GDP slide eased from July to September from a contraction of 16.9 percent in the second quarter.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick earlier said that the easing of the country’s GDP slump “indicates that the economy is on the mend.”
Chua said he is bullish about economic growth in the fourth quarter, citing easing restrictions on businesses and transportation while enhancing the minimum health standards. PNA.GOV.PH