Higher GDP growth expected as year ends — Abad
With the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) growing at its fastest pace for the year, Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad said Friday he predicts even higher growth in the next quarter.
GDP growth for the Philippines was at 6 percent for the third quarter of the year, higher than the 5.3 percent during the same time last year. The Philippines ranked third, after China and Vietnam, among countries with highest GDP growth for the third quarter.
READ: PH economy grew 6% in Q3
“We have now the momentum after a slow start in the first quarter at 5 percent, recovery in the second quarter at 5.8 percent, and sustained growth in the third quarter. It’s still possible to grow at 6 percent for the whole year of 2015,” Abad said in a statement.
He said public spending will play a “pivotal role” in the fourth quarter, as it had in the third.
“Q4 has always been a strong quarter in terms of public spending as agencies rush to finish their projects,” he said, adding that budget reforms will allow the Department of Budget and Management to “match its yearly average of 98 percent releases.”
“As of end September, 96 percent of agency budgets have already been released,” Abad said.
Abad said he was certain that government executives will be “motivated” to perform better because of the anticipated passage of the Salary Standardization Law (SSL) 2015, which is supposed to double their performance-based bonus by next year.
He also acknowledged that spending will be boosted further because of “the pressure to finish infrastructure projects from political leaders in the run up to the May 2016 elections.”
“Performance is always an election platform and political leaders demonstrate that through the delivery of social services and public works projects,” he said.
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