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PIA Press Release

PGMA brushes aside skepticism over growth figures on economy

Manila (1 September) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo brushed aside today the doubts voiced by some quarters over the country's economic growth figures, saying that "statistics from the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) shows that our economic road map is unfolding as it should and on schedule."

The President issued the statement upon her arrival this morning from a two-day trip to Kuala Lumpur to attend Malaysia's 50th Hari Merdeka or Grand Independence Day celebration.

"The statistics from our National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) shows that our economic roadmap is unfolding as it should, and right on schedule," she said.

From a Third World country, the Philippines is on its way to becoming a First World nation, the "only journey worth taking," she added.

"Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth shows that we can prosper, and that, in fact, we are on our way to better times, as long as we stay on course and fight poverty as Team Philippines," the President said.

NSCB figures showed that the gross domestic product (GDP) -- or the value of goods produced and services rendered, not including income from abroad -- rose by 7.5 percent during the second quarter of 2006, bringing to 7.3 percent the average growth in the first quarter.

The April-June 2007 GDP growth stands out as the fastest in 20 years.

Garbed in a cream business suit, the President was met at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Centennial Terminal II by Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Hermogenes Esperon and the three major service branch commanders, Police Director General Oscar Calderon and Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.

The President, whose first meeting in Kuala Lumpur was with members of the Filipino community there, said Filipinos in Malaysia "expressed optimism that soon they can come home to a better country and a brighter future."

"Malaysia and some of our other neighbors have shown us that this can be done," the President said, as she called "on our people and their representatives in Congress to work for progress and unite for peace, so that finally we can leave the chains of poverty and political instability behind us." (PIA) [top]

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