Finance chief optimistic of reaching 6% GDP growth target 

By Anna Leah Gonzales

August 13, 2023, 2:40 pm

<p>Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Department of Finance (DOF) Secretary Benjamin Diokno said this year's economic growth target is within reach, citing the government's aggressive "catch-up" plans.

"[The] 6.0 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth target for 2023 remains achievable," Diokno said in a Viber message to reporters on Sunday.

"An aggressive catch-up plan for infrastructure projects, quicker response by GOCCs (government-owned and controlled corporations), and strong and deliberate spending by resource-surplus local governments are essential parts of the solution to the relatively weak second quarter growth performance of the Philippine economy," the finance chief added.

The country’s economic growth slowed to 4.3 percent in the second quarter of the year from the 6.4 percent expansion in the first quarter.

"A close look at the economic performance of our Asian peers could give a balanced view of the country’s economic performance," said Diokno.

Citing data, Diokno said that in the second quarter of 2023, South Korea grew by 0.87 percent, and so did Singapore (0.7 percent), Hong Kong (1.5 percent), Taiwan (1.5 percent), Vietnam (4.14 percent) and Indonesia (5.17 percent).

"The Philippines is not as export-dependent as some of its ASEAN neighbors. Its growth is consumption-based.  That is why it is less susceptible to the weaker export demand owing to the slowing global economy, which is partly due to the aggressive monetary tightening, supply bottlenecks and rising commodity prices resulting from the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine," he explained.

Diokno added that the more dependent the country is on exports, the slower the economic expansion.

He noted that this is mainly due to a slowing global economy.

To achieve the lower end of the economic growth target this year, Diokno said the Philippine economy has to grow by 6.6 percent in the second half of the year,

"While there are formidable external challenges, the prospect of achieving this lofty goal is largely in the hands of the current administration," said Diokno. (PNA)