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PHL’s 2012 economic prospects remain good, says BSP official

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Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo believes that public infrastructure investments, trade and agriculture will collectively help rally the country’s economy this year.

”These are the three factors that can give good prospects for 2012,” he said during Saturday's Forum at Annabel’s in Quezon City.
He noted that indicators on such factors so far augur well for such positive projection.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported that the government already released as of January this year 72.1 percent or P150.2 billion of the P208.3 billion capital allocation for infrastructure projects of agencies like the Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Education and Department of Agriculture.

”We can expect public infrastructure to get a boost starting 2012,” Guinigundo said.
He also said that demand for Philippine exports is increasing and more orders for these are expected in the coming months.
”Increase in imports aren’t bad since most of these are used to produce exports,” he likewise noted.

Latest available data for 2012's first quarter and initial indicators for the year's second quarter show a turnaround in the country’s agricultural production, he added.

”Indicators show we can expect a good 2012,” he said.
The Asian Development Bank released in April its flagship annual economic publication "Asian Development Outlook 2012" which projects a 4.8 percent growth in Philippine gross domestic product this year, up from 3.7 percent in 2011.

Guinigundo acknowledged the Philippines faces economic risk from financial woes that continue plaguing Europe and other areas abroad.
He raised the need to study such matter well, noting those areas are markets for Philippine exports and destinations for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Such exports and OFWs are among the country’s revenue generators.
Risks to the Philippine economy also include the country’s continuing territorial dispute with China, Guinigundo said.
”China is among our important trading partners and sources of tourists so our problems with that country will affect our economy,” he stressed.
This month, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported that preliminary data show Philippine export earnings in March 2012 totaled US$ 4.302 billion, with the People’s Republic of China accounting for US$ 642.07 million or nearly 15 percent of overall outbound shipment receipts.

NSO data also show China was the Philippines’ third biggest export market during the 2012 reference period after the United States and Japan which correspondingly accounted for US$ 668.25 million and US$ 664.78 million of receipts from the outbound shipments.

Amid mounting tension over the territorial dispute between both countries, reports surfaced this week that Chinese authorities impounded Philippine bananas exported to their country as these fruits allegedly carried pests.

”It’s a non-quantitative restriction,” Guinigundo said.
He believes government must continue developing new export markets to help mitigate impact of China's restrictions on Philippine exports.

by: PNA




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