MANILA – Even with the the extended slump of the agriculture sector, a government official said the Philippines might post a second quarter economic growth similar to the unexpected 7.3 percent expansion three months earlier.

Socioeconomic planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr said factors like election spending and stimulus programs by the previous administration can help offset losses in agriculture.

“We're still hoping that it will not be too far from the first quarter because essentially that was fueled by three things, one is the benign world environment up to that point, which was still around up to the second quarter,” he told reporters .

“If we consider that agriculture provides only about 20 percent of GDP (gross domestic product) at this point, and geographic coverage of the typhoon-hit areas is not the whole

Philippines but rather just a certain portion, maybe the impact on the GDP is not as large as the social impact,” said Paderanga.

The government will release the second quarter figures on August 26. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)