NEDA expects 'better' economic growth in Q2
Manila (23 June) -- The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) expects a "better" economic growth in the second quarter boosted by higher government spending and remittances from overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Rolando G. Tungpalan, deputy director general of NEDA, told reporters on Monday that "things are looking better now. I can't imagine that the second quarter will be worse [than the first quarter]."
In the first quarter, the economy as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) grew by only 0.4 percent from 3.9 percent in the same period last year.
From April to June last year, the economy expanded by 4.6 percent.
Tungpalan said the increased government spending and the continued inflow of OFW remittances would be the main drivers of the economy in the second quarter.
To further stimulate economic growth in the second half of the year, Tungpalan said the government is pressing agencies to spend their budgets in the third quarter of the year.
The government programmed P1.489 trillion in expenditures this year, lower than the original P1.495 tillion due to a reduction in economic growth target but higher than last year's P1.27 trillion.
Of the total spending program, capital outlays would amount to P289.3 billion this year from P273.2 billion last year.
Dennis Arroyo, director of NEDA's national planning and policy staff, had blamed the worse-than-expected GDP growth in the first quarter to the delay in the passage of budget, which led to the failure of the Economic Resiliency Plan to kick in during the period.
Arroyo, however, said the ERP spending would kick in during the second and third quarters.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier unveiled a P330-billion stimulus package or ERP to pump-prime the economy by quickly disbursing the P1.4-trillion 2009 national budget amid the global economic crisis. (PIA) [top]