Malacanang confident to sustain economic growth-A A +A
Thursday, January 31, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- Malacanang expressed confidence Thursday that the government would be able to sustain economic growth as Philippine economy grew by 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
The Philippine economy grew 6.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, bringing full year growth for 2012 to 6.6 percent. This is higher than the government's official target of five to six percent.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the growth was not driven solely by government stimulus but also by private sector activity, "including investments, which grew by 8.7 percent in 2012."
"This means growth is becoming more sustainable from a fiscal and macroeconomic perspective. Private sector activity has been enabled by the Aquino administration's dedication to positive reform. Without doubt, good governance means good economics," Lacierda said.
He added that the administration's vision for the economy has always been to ignite a virtuous cycle of growth and empowerment – “to enable business and enterprise to flourish; to open doors of opportunity for each citizen; and to invest in them so that they can truly take hold of their own destinies.”
Lacierda noted that the continued growth of the gross domestic product "is proof positive of our ability to sustain a united march forwards along the straight path toward equitable progress."
He is confident that the government would be able to maintain the economy's upward trajectory, citing continuing reforms the administration has undertaken.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, for his part, said the recent economic growth is a "resounding affirmation of the Aquino administration’s fiscal strategy, backed as it is by our robust macroeconomic fundamentals and more importantly, the principles of good governance."
"Public expenditure was once again a driving force in our exceptional growth rate. Government Final Consumption Expenditure rose by 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter, buoyed by high disbursements in Maintenance and Other Operating Expenditures (MOOE) -- which soared by 140.6 percent in October and November— and Personnel Services (PS), which grew by 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter, as well as by expenditures related to this year’s elections," he said.
"Overall, Government Final Consumption Expenditure in 2012 increased by 11.8 percent from last year's 1.0 percent, showing us that despite external uncertainties and a tepid global market, local demand continues to be supported by high public spending, especially for the Administration’s banner social services programs," Abad added.
He likewise noted that public construction also climbed by 7.8 percent in the fourth quarter and registered a 32.4-percent growth in 2012, while private construction expanded from 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 to a whopping 23.3 percent in the same period in 2012, with last year’s overall growth tipping at 8.6 percent.
"More than ever, we are in an excellent position to deliver swifter, high-impact expenditures in 2013, particularly in view of budget reforms designed to accelerate disbursements further and ensure better service delivery to the public. This year, for example, we will begin the transition to the GAA -- as-Release-Document regime, as well as oversee the strict enforcement of the one-year lapse period for all appropriations," he said.
He also took note of the "digitization initiatives," including the ePayment facility for the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS), electronic pension payments for retired uniformed personnel, and electronic and mobile banking for beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
He said these programs are ready to support the Aquino administration's transparency and accountability platform, especially for budget management.
"These initiatives, along with increased investments in public and private infrastructure and exuberant election-related spending, make for a brisk and exciting year for Philippine public expenditure," he said.
Abad also expressed optimism that the government could sustain, or even exceed the progress in economy. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)