Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman (File photo)

MANILA – The Philippines' 7.6-percent economic expansion in the third quarter of 2022 signifies that the country is "far from recession," Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said Thursday.

This, after the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the Philippine economy grew at a faster rate in the third quarter of 2022 at 7.6 percent, higher than the revised 7.5 percent growth in the second quarter of the same year.

"This confirms that the outlook for the economy is positive," Pangandaman, who is part of President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s economic team, said in a statement.

"We continue to support this with a firm fiscal consolidation plan. We can move forward with confidence that the Philippine economy is sound and far from recession," she added.

Pangandaman noted that she and her fellow economic managers are attributing the country's robust economic performance from July to Sept. 2022 to "continuing" efforts to further reopen the economy, increased mobility with the resumption of in-person classes, faster Covid-19 vaccination rollout, and initiatives to address unemployment and poverty.

Faster growth in wholesale and retail services, financial and insurance activities, and the performance of the construction industry also contributed to the economic expansion in the third quarter of this year, she said.

Reflection of hard work

Pangandaman said the latest growth rate is an indication of the Marcos administration's strong resolve to bring progress and development to the country.

"This is truly good news and reflects the hard work of the President and the Cabinet in pushing for progress towards our Agenda for Prosperity, in spite of external challenges,” she said.

"The 7.6-percent growth shows that socioeconomic objectives can be achieved amid a high inflationary environment, tightening monetary policy stance and even the depreciating peso against the US dollar," she added.

Pangandaman also serves as chairperson of the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), which designed the Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and the eight-point socio-economic agenda of the current administration.

She said the latest economic growth "jumpstarts the first out of 24 quarters of economic recovery and transformation" under the leadership of Marcos.

"The positive growth is consistent with the overall goal of the current administration to reinvigorate job creation and poverty reduction. The Q3 GDP and fiscal performance is expected to steer the economy back to its high-growth path in the near-term," Pangandaman said.

Sustaining growth

Pangandaman said the Philippine economic team would take the necessary steps to sustain the economic growth.

She said the Marcos administration would take advantage of economic opportunities and targeted programs such as the Targeted Cash Transfer (TCT) Program, Fuel Subsidy Program, Fuel Discount Program, and Service Contracting Program.

Pangandaman said financial assistance granted to farmers, free public transportation rides for students, and distribution of benefits to health workers were done in the third quarter of 2022.

According to World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects, the Philippines is projected to grow at one of the fastest paces among Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) economies this year.

Marcos, speaking before the Cambodian business leaders in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, said his administration is able to handle the Philippine economy well, given the country's latest economic figures. (PNA)