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PIA Press Release

PGMA sees RP economic rebound by next year

Manila (7 October) -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed the hope that the Philippine economy will achieve the economic rebound it is projecting by next year.

In her message at the 10th Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc. CEO (Chief Operating Officers) Forum held at the Heroes Hall in Malacanang yesterday morning, the President said with the country's stronger macroeconomic fundamentals the local economy can even do better.

"We have been working tirelessly as we did in 2001 to address challenges arising in the global economic front," the President said, as she noted that the present economic turmoil has been made worse with the spike in oil and food prices.

She said that the effect of the US economic crunch is worldwide, and that no nation is insulated from it. She, however, stressed that the Philippines is in a much better position to face the challenge as "our economy is more resilient today than ever before and I'll say more resilient than other countries."

The President said other governments have felt " the overheating so much" that they had to cut down on infrastructure spending. The Philippines, she added, has not reached that stage.

On the contrary, there has been an increase in spending on bridges, airports, ports and telecommunications infrastructure.

"We have not reached that stage and we are not cutting down but increasing instead because our economic reforms and fiscal reforms, strong economic fundamentals and banking system," the President said.

"Our economy is strong enough to withstand the external financial turmoil," she stressed.

For the country to weather the present economic challenge, the President said the government is working hard on all fronts to manage the inflationary pressures and to provide safety nets for those hardest hit by the recent developments in the global economy.

She added that the government will continue to generate more jobs, tap more revenues and lure more investments into the country.

She added that the government has been working hard to minimize, if not eliminate, red tape, reduce the cost of power and avoid wage spirals to make industries, like the semiconductors and electronics sector, more globally competitive.

The President noted that the semiconductors and electronics industry in the Philippines has not been spared the global economic slowdown as gleaned from its negative growth rate during the first six months of the year.

However, in June, the industry posted a 2.6 percent year on year growth, she noted.

The President said she remains optimistic that the electronics sector, like the Philippine economy as a whole, will make a strong rebound given the several expansions and future investments. She cited as the reason the expected surge in exports brought about by the $3 billion Texas Instruments' expansion project at the Clark Freeport Zone.

"So against the ill force of winds of the global economy, we are deeply committed to be a force for the good of the country and the industry," she said. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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