DBCC to revisit macro goals amid new ECQ


THE Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) is set to meet Wednesday (August 18) to revisit all of its macroeconomic projections to consider the impact of the reimposition of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III on Tuesday told finance reporters that they will also consider the recently released figures on the country’s economic growth.

“As to predictions, we are having another meeting with the DBCC tomorrow to determine what the future seems to look like, given this lockdown episode we had. So we will announce it tomorrow after the meeting with the DBCC,” Dominguez said.

However, Dominguez stopped short of saying whether they are leaning towards cutting or retaining the government’s current GDP target of 6 to 7 percent this year.

“I will discuss with my colleagues. Okay, remember that is a collegial body,” he said.

The Philippine economy grew by 11.8 percent in the second quarter, the highest since the fourth quarter of 1988 when the economy grew 12 percent.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported that the country’s GDP growth averaged 3.7 percent in the first semester, using constant 2018 prices.

National Statistician Claire Dennis S. Mapa said the economy needs to post growth of 8.2 percent in the second half of the year to hit the government’s low-end GDP growth target of 6 percent.

While the economy may have technically exited recession, local economists earlier told BusinessMirror that the uncertainty caused by the Delta variant is threatening its recent economic gains.

For international think tank Moody’s Analytics, the country’s economic performance in the second quarter of the year proved to be “disappointing,” bolstering their view that the Philippines will be among the last countries in the region to recover economically.

Although the country’s second-quarter GDP growth grew by 11.8 percent, the think tank said this is largely due to base effects as the country contracted by 16.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020.

From August 6 to August 20, Metro Manila is under ECQ — the strictest form of lockdown imposed by the government—to avert the surge in Covid-19 cases.

As of Tuesday, the Department of Health reported 10,035 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total to 1.77 million.

The death toll has already climbed to 30,462 with 96 new fatalities while 10,858 persons recovered, raising the total to 1,629,426. Active cases are at 105,787.

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