Philippines further lowers growth forecast for 2021

Manila, Aug. 18 (FN Bureau) The Philippine government on Wednesday revised its economic growth projection for 2021 from 6.0 to 7.0 percent to 4.0 to 5.0 percent due to the reimposition of lockdown in Metro Manila to curb the surging COVID-19 infections in the country. “In the first half of 2021, our careful balancing of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 risks allowed us to improve the gross domestic product growth to 11.8 percent in the second quarter,” the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) said in a statement. However, with the global emergence of the Delta variant, the DBCC said the second-half growth outlook was revised downwards “to reflect the additional restrictions imposed by the government, which are necessary to curb its spread.”

“Our strategy is to continue managing the risks carefully by imposing granular quarantines while allowing a vast number of people to earn a living. We will continue to use this period to accelerate the rollout of the vaccination program,” the DBCC added. Meanwhile, the DBCC retained its growth targets for 2022 at 7.0 The Philippine economy shrank by 9.5 percent in 2020, the lowest rate since 1946, due to the pandemic. The Philippines now has 1,776,495 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 30,623 deaths. Metro Manila is under a hard lockdown until August 20. The government has administered nearly 28 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the rollout on March 1. Over 12.6 million people have been fully vaccinated. The government aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year. The Philippines has been in varying lockdown levels when the government imposed a lockdown in mid-March last year, causing many businesses to close down temporarily.