The Philippines will be resilient in the projected global recession this year, as inflation that peaked in 2022 is expected to “settle” by June this year, an economist in the House of Representatives predicted on Sunday, Jan. 22.
“We will be in positive growth territory regardless of what happens for the rest of the world,” Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda, who chairs the House ways and means committee, said in his fearless forecast.
“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,” he added, echoing pronouncements of President Marcos, who remains optimistic about the economy.
The Bicolano lawmaker boldly declared that there would be “absolutely no recession for the Philippines in 2023.”
As far as he is concerned, “pent up demand will also ensure that our economy, which is at least 70 percent driven by domestic demand, will have plenty of growth runway” even as no less than international business organizations say that Manila is on the way to economic recovery.
“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,” Salceda said.
“We saw that during the pandemic, when everybody thought the sky would fall,” he added.
The lawmaker was optimistic to say that if the world does not go through a recession, there is “definitely room to grow beyond the 6.5 percent projection of our economic managers.”
“We can go for eight percent,” he said.
Inflation, according to Salceda, is also expected to taper off this year.
“We’re getting a better hold of agricultural smuggling issues. I’m confident that Congress’ efforts to expose how artificial onion and meat prices are will help pop the bubble,” he said.
“Inflation in 2023 should hit the 4.0 level by midyear, and that will boost consumer demand further,” he added.
The lawmaker stressed that the 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?”
Meanwhile, the Philippines has joined the “VIP Club,” which is a list of Southeast Asian countries with best-performing economies, President Marcos said last Saturday, Jan. 21, after arriving from his five-day visit to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic forum (WEF).
Marcos highlighted that his participation at the WEF from Jan. 16 to 20 served as an excellent platform to showcase the Philippine economy’s strong performance.
“It’s good that we came there, because of our participation (at the WEF), we joined what they call the ‘VIP Club’... The ‘VIP Club’ is Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. It is said to be the best economy in Asia,” he said in an interview.
He added that several foreign investors have expressed intent to explore business opportunities in the Philippines.
The President also noted that he discussed partnerships and collaborations with WEF founder and chairman emeritus Klaus Schwab to help the Philippines sustain equitable and inclusive growth and provide a better quality of life for Filipinos.
Marcos also had the opportunity to meet and exchange views with several leaders of countries and organizations, such as World Trade Organization director-general Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, World Bank managing director for operations Axel Van Trotsenburg, International Monetary Fund managing director Kristalina Georgieva and former United Kingdom prime minister Tony Blair.
In his arrival speech, Marcos said his visit to Davos yielded beneficial trade and investment opportunities as well as key partnerships supportive of his development agenda.
“The trip has yielded beneficial outcomes relative to new trade and investment opportunities, and key partnerships forged to support our development program, a better appreciation for Filipino workers and professionals, and the promise of increased level of cooperation with various countries around the world,” he added.
The Philippines’ attendance at the WEF did not only highlight the current economic situation in the country, but also highlighted to global leaders the role that the Philippines can play in this fragmented world, according to the President.
“That was the main theme in this entire forum. (It) is how we bring back cooperation in a fragmented world. And we are seen to play a part in that and especially as a member state of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and as a leading economy in Asia,” he said.
During his visit to Davos, he highlighted the administration’s policies, including the Philippine Development Plan, the Eight-Point Socioeconomic Agenda and the proposed Maharlika In-vestment Fund as well as other policies, which, he said, have led to the country’s sustained growth.
The proposed sovereign wealth fund of the Marcos administration received huge interest in Davos, according to government officials.
Marcos, however, said the Philippines has to tailor-fit a sovereign wealth fund that will suit its needs.
“So we have to design it very specifically to the Philippine condition, and that’s what legislators are trying to do to make sure it fits the needs of the country and it will be a good thing for us. So that’s the process that we’re undergoing now,” he added.
The Chief Executive revealed that he received a suggestion from a business leader to raise money for the Maharlika fund through initial public offering.
The fund shall be used to invest on a strategic and commercial basis in a manner designed to promote fiscal stability for economic development and strengthen top-performing government financial institutions through additional investment platforms that will help attain the national government’s priority plans under House Bill 6608.
WEF president Børge Brende earlier lauded the Philippines for its high gross domestic product (GDP) growth, surpassing other countries in Southeast Asia.
“It is incredible – I think now, the Philippines is the fastest growing of the ASEAN countries,” Brende said during a one-on-one dialogue with Marcos in Davos.
Brende agreed with Marcos that the Philippines’ GDP growth is still the fastest in the region.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno has said the Philippine government expects a strong full-year GDP growth for 2022, most likely much faster than its growth target of 6.5 to 7.5 percent.
Diokno, who accompanied Marcos in Switzerland, said because of the expected slowdown of the global economy, the Philippine economy is forecast to grow by around 6.5 percent this year.
Source: One News