The Palace has expressed elation over the announcement of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) that showed the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth reaching 6.9 percent in the first quarter of the year.
“We welcome this morning’s announcement by the National Economic and Development Authority that our country’s GDP growth reached 6.9 percent during the first quarter of 2016,” Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“This is above market expectations, and is higher than the GDP recorded last quarter (6.5 percent) and also during the first quarter of 2015 (5.0 percent).”
Relative to other Asian economies that have already released their first quarter 2016 GDP growth data, the Philippines is the fastest growing economy, followed by China with 6.7 percent, and Vietnam with 5.5 percent, Secretary Lacierda said.
According to the Palace spokesman, President Benigno S. Aquino III has often articulated the administration’s guiding principle of leaving the country in a far better state compared to when he assumed office in 2010.
“Indeed, the past six years have been about steering the Philippines along the Straight Path, where citizens can rest assured in a more effective, transparent, and inclusive government,” Lacierda said in the statement.
“With our peers in the international community having acknowledged our progress, it is now up to the next administration to build on the gains we have recently achieved—so that they may further redound to our nation’s improvement, for the benefit of generations to come.”
In a separate statement, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. also said that the continuing upward trend in the economy during the first quarter of 2016 “bodes well for the sustenance of the high growth trajectory of the Philippine economy that will eventually pave the way for the country’s entry into the ranks of high income countries”.
Director-General of NEDA, Emmanuel Esguerra, told a press conference on Thursday that the government is pleased “to be turning over a strong and stable economy onto the next administration”.
According to NEDA, domestic demand continued to drive growth on the expenditure side. Sustaining its growth momentum, the government’s final consumption reached 9.9 percent, as agencies continued to implement and expand various social protection programs.
These include the Department of Education’s basic education program, the Department of Health’s vaccination program, as well as other locally funded projects under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
On the production side, the NEDA report indicated that industry grew by 8.7 percent, supported by a strong showing from all segments of the industry sector.
Services, meanwhile, continued its acceleration to 7.9 percent, its highest growth since the second quarter of 2013. As with the industry sector, all segments under services likewise posted positive growth this quarter. PND (as)