RP still better off than most other nations, says PGMA

July 11, 2009 7:26 pm 

MANILA, July 11 — Although the country’s economic growth has slowed down, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo said today the Philippines is comparatively better off than most other nations affected by the global financial turmoil.

Citing the latest economic data, the President informed delegates to the fifth Ambassadors, Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour (ACGTDT) at Malacanang’s Ceremonial Hall that her administration managed to grow the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.8 percent and the gross national product (GNP) by 6.2 percent.

She noted that in the first quarter of 2009, the GNP continued to post positive growth of 4.4 percent, and the GDP at 0.4 percent.

“The stark reality is that our economic growth has slowed. We have been affected. But we are comparatively better off than most other nations,” the President said.

She revealed that the June 2009 Asia-Pacific Sovereign Report Card of Standard and Poor forecast a 1.3 percent growth rate for the Philippines this year, which is well within the government’s 0.8 to 1.8 percent growth forecast.

Standard and Poor, according to her, mentioned in its report that only nine of 21 countries are projected to post positive growth rate this year, and one of them is the Philippines.

“This is still a reality from which we can and should take heart and hope,” the Chief Executive said, adding that the Philippines today is different from that of eight years ago when the country’s economy was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Other Asia-Pacific region countries projected to post positive growth this year are China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

She recalled that since 2001, the Philippine economy has posted uninterrupted growth for 33 quarters, doubled its size from $ 76 billion to $ 168 billion, brought down the rate of poverty, increased per capita GNP from $ 967 to a middle class of $ 2,051; supported 7 million entrepreneurs, and reversed balance of payments deficit to a record surplus of $ 8.6 billion in 2007.

During that time, she said, the business process outsourcing recorded a $ 6 billion growth from almost nothing, and enhanced tax revenues by P291 billion between November 2005 and December 2008. (PNA)

scs/OPS/rsm

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