DOF: Strong economy backs PH efforts against COVID-19

THE REGION
By PIA
August 7, 2020

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 6 (PIA)—“The strengths of our economy allowed us to quickly put together the four-pillar strategy to shield the Filipino people against the adverse effects of the pandemic.”

Citing the initial achievements of the country during the Security Bank Economic Forum 2020, August 6, Department of Finance (DOF) Sec. Carlos Sonny Garcia Dominguez III stressed that before COVID-19, all indicators showed economic strength.

"We were among the fastest growing economies in Asia with an average GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth of 6.6 percent from 2016-2019. We have managed to bring down our debt to GDP ratio with a historic low of 39.6 percent. Our revenues were robust after the passage of both tax reform measures and improved tax administration," the secretary added.

In 2019, the nation's revenue is at 16.1 percent of GDP; the country's best performance in 22 years. Inflation remains stable and under control. For July, the country has 2.7 percent inflation rate, which is still below the midpoint target range of 3-4 percent. 

"The Philippine peso remains one of the most stable Asian currencies amid rising risks. The Philippine peso has appreciated 3.2 percent against the US dollars," Dominguez said. 

Noting such feats, the secretary said the government has provided immediate aid to struggling Filipino families and displaced workers through the Social Amelioration Program where P205 billion was disbursed to 18 million low income families for two months, and P51 billion wage subsidy to 3 million workers of small businesses for two months as well. 

The four-pillar strategy of the national government has a combined value of P1.7 trillion or 9.1 percent of the country's GDP. 

Moreover, wide range initiatives to help struggling families and enterprises were also conducted and these include credit facilities and services by financial institutions, study now pay later program, online training programs to up skill and retool displaced workers, and other measures to help businesses operate in new normal.

"The Philippines was the first country in ASEAN to enforce strong lockdown measures beginning March 17 to save lives and protect communities. We responded with everything we have," Dominguez said. (RTP/PIA10)


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