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PIA Press Release

NEDA maintains 2.6-3.6% GDP growth target

Manila (27 February) -- The National Economic and Development Authority is maintaining the 2.6-3.6 percent growth target for 2010 approved by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) despite the expected longer negative effects of the El Niņo phenomenon.

Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and NEDA Director-General Augusto B. Santos said this growth projection "has already factored in the possible damage of prolonged drought to the agriculture and the utilities (particularly energy and water) subsectors".

Moreover, the possible reduction in employment in these sectors, which could affect the income and consumption of households, was also incorporated in the analysis, Santos said.

"Notwithstanding the negative implications of El Niņo, the projected growth for this year is anchored on the expected gradual recovery of both the industry and services sectors," he added. These sectors account for about 32 percent and 50 percent, respectively, of the total economy.

Santos said the conservative assumptions on the growth of these sectors took into consideration the adverse effects of possible power and water shortages, the fragile world economic recovery, and the measures by government to mitigate the effects of prolonged drought.

Such measures include the rehabilitation of existing irrigation facilities, water rationing to the most affected areas, the distribution of irrigation pumps, and cloud seeding.

He also said that NEDA is closely coordinating with concerned agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA), the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

"We engage in the timely exchange of information with them as they implement appropriate policies to lessen the impact of the drought," the NEDA official said.

"NEDA will continue to monitor the developments on the effects of El Niņo together with other macroeconomic indicators. We will keep up discussions with the DBCC on government's macro assumptions and will apprise the public and various stakeholders should there be a need to revise the growth target for the year," Santos said. (PIA) [top]

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