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PSA: 2020 GDP shrank even more, at 9.6%

A man walks the streets of Parañaque City, hoping to find anything of value and sell them to a junk shop. The coronavirus pandemic left millions jobless and businesses struggling to survive.

THE economy was worse off than initially estimated in 2020, according to latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

On Thursday, PSA disclosed that Philippine GDP growth contracted 9.6 percent in 2020. This was a downward revision from the decline of 9.5 percent, the statistical agency announced in January.

However, PSA data showed that GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2020 was retained at -8.3 percent.

“These are due to the latest full-year data.  We always update as needed if new data are available,” Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua told reporters.

Revisions on the estimates are based on the updated data submissions/releases by the data source agencies.

The PSA revises the GDP estimates based on an approved revision policy (PSA Board Resolution 1, Series of 2017-053) which is consistent with international standard practices on national accounts revisions.

RA 10625 or the Philippine Statistical Act of 2013 provides that respondents are required to give truthful and complete answers to statistical inquiries or surveys of the PSA and other statistical offices of the PSS.

However, the law provides that “Individual data furnished by a respondent to statistical inquiries, surveys and censuses of the PSA shall be considered privileged communication and as such shall be inadmissible as evidence in any proceeding.”

The law provides that persons violating the confidentiality clause “shall be liable to fines as prescribed by the PSA Board which shall not be less than P5,000 nor more than P10,000 and/or imprisonment of three months but not to exceed one year, subject to the degree of breach of information.”

Image credits: Nonie Reyes

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