Sectors post growth despite Asian slowdown
by ES Subong
Iloilo City (31 August) -- Philippine agriculture, industry and services sectors have posted encouraging growth despite high inflation and slower growth among advanced economies.
Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ralph Recto said while the Philippines was not insulated from external shocks, the country's economy remained resilient because of the strong support from the Overseas Filipino Workers.
Recto said favorable weather and government's large investments in agriculture strengthened the country's economy and helped averted further slowdown, while achieving food sufficiency and stabilizing commodity prices.
Production in agriculture, fishery and forestry sector increased by 4.9 percent from 4.2 percent in the same period of last year, performing well with significant increases in rice and corn harvests.
Recto said this is because of government's heightened efforts in expanding areas planted to these grains, repairing and rehabilitating more irrigation facilities, and more fertilizer and seed subsidies.
The industry sector in general experienced a slowdown but its subsectors like manufacturing, utilities and construction registered marked improvements.
The manufacturing subsector grew by 6.1 percent because of gains in food manufacturing which benefited from the hefty sugarcane harvest during the quarter as sugar exports became attractive.
The utilities sector also sustained its growth by posting a 7.9 percent growth in the second quarter, attributed to increases in production efficiency in power generation with shifts from the use of diesel and oil-related inputs to the use of natural gas and other indigenous sources.
Private construction, on the other hand, has remained vigorous, offsetting the contraction in public construction.
The services sector, which comprise almost half of the Philippine Gross Domestic Product and employ half of the total workforce, remains to be the backbone of the economy despite he slower growth.
The Business Process Outsourcing Industry continues to fuel the growth in the real estate sector and remains strong as indicated by strong growth of the business services sector.
Recto said that government is still in a better position to invest in priority projects such as infrastructure and agriculture as well as to earnestly work to find lasting peace in Mindanao. (PIA 6) [top]