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Ekonomiya ng Pilipinas, lumago ng 5.7%

MANILA, Philippines – LUMAGO ang ekonomiya ng bansa sa first quarter ng taon mula sa tatlong buwan bago pa bumagal sa kaparehong panahon noong nakaraang taon.

Makikita sa datos mula sa Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) na ang gross domestic product (GDP) ay lumago ng 5.7% sa first quarter ng taon, kung ikukumpara sa downward-revised na 5.5% sa fourth quarter ng 2023 at 6.4% noong Enero hanggang Marso ng taong 2023.

Ang pinakabagong pagbasa ay mas mababa sa target range na 6.0% hanggang 7.0% na itinakda ng inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), na tinapyasan mula sa naunang layunin na 6.5% hanggang 7.5% na sumasalamin sa kadahilanan gaya ng “global demand, trade growth, oil prices, at inflation trends.”

Sa kabilang dako, sinabi naman ni National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa na ang pangunahing ‘contributors’ sa paglago ay ang “financial at insurance activities” na 10.0%, wholesale at retail trade at pagkumpuni sa motor vehicles at motorsiklo na 6.4%, at manufacturing na 4.5%.

Ang lahat ng major economic sectors ay nakapagtala ng annual growths — agriculture, forestry, and fishing (AFF) na may 0.4%, industry na may 0.4%, at serbisyo na may 6.9%.

“Gross national income (GNI) had an annual growth of 9.7%, while the net primary income (NPI) from the rest of the world expanded by 57.0%,” ayon kay Mapa.

Hinggil naman sa demand side, ang household final consumption expenditure (HFCE) ay lumago ng 4.6%, pinakamabagal simula ng third quarter ng 2010 sa gitna ng tumaas na inflation sa bansa at nagpapatuloy na El Niño.

“It’s a combination of factors of both domestic and external. On the domestic front, it’s obviously the elevated inflation and the high interest rates,” ang pahayag naman ni National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Arsenio Balisacan.

“Note that the high interest rates, particularly the policy rates that were implemented by the (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) were meant to address certain issues,” aniya pa rin.

“The central bank in Februarykept policy rates unchanged at 16-year highs the target reverse repurchase (RRP) at 6.5%, the overnight deposit rate at 6.0%, and the overnight lending facility rate at 7.0%. These were alsomaintained in April, with the next policy meeting scheduled on May 16,” ayon naman sa ulat.

“Inflation, meanwhile,averaged 3.3% in the first quarter in April, marking the fastest in four months,” ayon pa rin sa ulat.

Sa kabilang dako, sinabi ni Balisacan na ang tumaas na heat levels ay nakaapekto sa production, lalo na sa construction activities at services sector.

“Construction slowed down, no doubt affected by prolonged periods of extreme heat. Household spending also slowed due to elevated prices of major food items and the heat wave,” ayon kay Balisacan.

“People don’t want to go out. It’s so hot, I think that also affected the construction,” dagdag na pahayag ni Balisacan, habang ang construction growth ay bumabagal sa 6.8% mula 10.1% sa nakalipas na quarter, at 14.7% expansion sa first quarter ng 2023.

Lumago naman ang government spending ng 1.7% sa panahon ng quarter, mas mabilis sa 1.0% contraction sa fourth quarter ng 2023, subalit mas bumagal kaysa sa 6.2%.

Tinuran ni Balisacan na, “Government spending also slowed down, primarily due to the sliding of a large amount of expenditure to April this year, whereas the government made such spending in March last year.”

Tiniyak naman nito na ang bansa ay “still on track” para matugunan ang target nito ngayong taon, dahil na rin sa pagsisikap ng pamahalaan na tugunan ang El Niño at ang mataas na inflation.

“I think that [is] unless we see a reversal in the gains we are making in tempering the inflation, particularly food and energy, I don’t see any reason why the second quarter should be any weaker than the first quarter,” aniya pa rin.

Habang nananatiling mataas ang heat levels sa pamamagitan ng second quarter, sinabi ni Balisacan na seryosong tinututukan ng gobyerno ang climate change, sa ngayon ay nananawagan sa mga stakeholders na makipagtulungan sa pagsisikap na i-adapt lalo na ang vulnerable areas gaya ng agrikultura.

“I don’t see any more serious efforts now in dealing with climate change than what we are putting today because we see it now, experience it now on almost a daily basis, so we are putting a lot of attention there,” aniya pa rin. Kris Jose