THE National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is sticking to its projected growth forecasts for this and next year given its strong fundamentals, despite the declaration of martial law in Mindanao and isolated shooting and fire incident at Resorts World Manila.
“We are keeping our (gross domestic product) growth targets of 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent this year and 7 percent to 8 percent next year,” NEDA Director General Ernesto Pernia said in a press briefing on the launch of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP), the blueprint for the country’s development under the Duterte administration.
Pernia noted that the fighting in Marawi City is being contained already.
“We are quite optimistic this is a short-lived aberration from normal,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte on May 23 declared martial law in the entire Mindanao island, which would effect in 60 days.
Pernia said the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) would meet next week to review the macroeconomic and fiscal programs.
“We believe that the objective (of the martial law declaration is) to secure peace in that area. That is the objective and if that is done and within a limited of time, then it will be good as well,” said NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon in an interview.
Pernia also downplayed the impact on the economy of Friday’s incident at Resorts World Manila, which was considered just an isolated robbery rather than a terrorist attack.
For her part, NEDA Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said “the incident just happened, let’s just observe how the investors will react. It’s too early to tell… I’m optimistic the (economic) fundamentals do not change.”
The Resorts World Manila reported a total of 35 hotel guests and employees killed by smoke inhalation and another 54 wounded in the stampede after an attack perpetrated by a lone gunman on Friday dawn. (Leslie D. Venzon/PNA)
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