Salceda backs Marcos’ vision of PH economy with no recession, inflation dip to 4.0%
MANILA, Philippines — Economist and Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has backed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s vision of a good Philippine economy for 2023, saying that headline inflation rates would ease down to 4.0 percent by mid-year.
Sacleda in a statement on Sunday claimed that inflation rates — which skyrocketed to 8.1 percent in December 2022 — would ease due to developments in the country’s efforts against smuggling.
“We’re getting a better hold of agricultural smuggling issues. I’m confident that Congress’s efforts to expose how artificial onion and meat prices are will help pop the bubble,” he said. “2023 inflation should hit the 4.0 level by mid-year. And that will boost consumer demand further.”
“Therefore, our strategy now must be ‘how do we sell the Philippines as a safe haven for investments when the world feels fearful of putting money everywhere else? Thus, I support the President’s aggressive marketing of the Philippines to crucial audiences such as the World Economic Forum, and through state visits to our most valuable partners and neighbors,” he added.
During the recently-concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, Marcos showcased the country’s supposed strong economic standing.
According to the Chief Executive, economic leaders from around the world have tagged the Philippines as part of the VIP Club, or a group of Southeast Asian countries with the best-performing economies.
But Marcos’ trip to Davos was heavily criticized by progressive groups who feel that his attendance at WEF was ill-timed, as the country is suffering from high inflation and its effects. Last Monday, several activists stormed the Department of Agriculture (DA) office in Quezon City, demanding assistance for farmers instead of relying on importation.
According to the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), Marcos should expect to face the public’s wrath given that prices of food products like onions, sugar, and eggs have increased steeply while he makes these foreign trips.
Marcos is also the country’s current Agriculture Secretary.
But Marcos got support from an economist who explained that there is more to the President’s foreign trips than just traveling, as the working visits can mean more business opportunities from tourism, exportation, and other business endeavors.
No recession for PH
Salceda also said that he shares beliefs that the Philippines’ economic growth would not be affected by any global slowdown or recession, continuing to perform well primarily due to the removal of restrictions on public sectors.
“We will be in positive growth territory regardless of what happens for the rest of the world. We have removed restrictions on so many key sectors – public services, the retail trade sector, the energy sector – that the country will offset global recessionary forces,” Salceda, who also heads the House of Representatives Committee on ways and means, said.
“Pent-up demand will also ensure that our economy, which is at least 70% driven by domestic demand, will have plenty of growth runway,” he added.
And if the projected slowdown does not take place, Salceda said that the country is likely to exceed the projected 6.5 percent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP).
“We also have so many promising sectors – mining and electronics among them – that will remain resilient through the pandemic. Semiconductor demand will remain strong and above supply regardless of the global growth average. We saw that during the pandemic, when everybody thought the sky would fall,” he said.
“And, if the world doesn’t go through a recession, there is definitely room to grow beyond the 6.5% project of our economic managers. We can go for 8%,” he added.
During the WEF, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez also expressed confidence that the country can bag investments despite the possible slowdown. Romualdez said the fears of a slowdown stemmed from a January 14 article by Jo-Ok Lee, head of the Regional Agenda for the Asia Pacific region at the WEF, who noted that Asean is one of the few bright spots.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.