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Philippine Economic Briefing 2015: Echo by Prof. Robert Robang

November 6,2015

The Philippine Economic Briefing for 2015 was held last 30 September 2015 as the Governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and officials from socioeconomic planning agencies presented key growth areas of the country.  Having attended the forum for the School of Business, Prof. Robert Robang, Chair of the IBEAD Department took time out to share with the faculty of business the highlights of the presentations.

Prof. Robang shared that the country’s economy grew by 6.2 percent on average in the last five (5) years, and this is the strongest growth since the mid-1970s according to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.  In the same line, Governor Amando Tetangco of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) claims that this index “makes the Philippines the fastest-growing country in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-5 (ASEAN-5) – outpacing Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.”  Although the first half of 2015 fell short of 2015 GDP growth target at 5.3% (versus 6%), the government is confident that the “performance can still make the country one of the best performers among the emerging economies, especially when one considers the general weakness of the global economic”, added Secretary Balisacan. 

Overall, Prof. Robang reported that the robustness of growth in both the demand side (as indicated by growth of capital formation) and supply side (propelled by local manufacturing and service sector industries) is bringing the economy very close to structural transformation crucial for sustaining economic growth and promoting productive employment.  Also the stable financial system and resilient fiscal position are encouraging indicators of good economics and good governance by a pro-active government.

NEDA’s projection is that if we maintain this right track, “sustained GDP growth of about 7% yearly could bring us to higher middle-income economy status (GNI per capita of $4,125) by the end of the next Administration.  Thereafter, sustained growth for 3 more Administrations, could bring us at or near high-income economy status (GNI per capita of $12,746) by 2040.”

By  Ramon R. Manalac, Dean, School of Business