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Saturday, June 22, 2024

PH bounces back from pandemic

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The Philippines bounced back from the impact of the pandemic to post one of the fastest economic growths in 2022 and showed further potential in 2023.

Despite the deep scars from the global health crisis, the economy expanded 7.6 percent last year, reflecting pent-up domestic demand.  The gross domestic product grew by another 5.3 percent in the first half of 2023.

The gross national income—a broader measure of growth which factors in income from other countries—also rose 9.3 percent in the first semester this year, following a 9.8-percent expansion in 2022.

Other indicators are also encouraging.  The country’s largest banks and conglomerates reported record profits and revenues this year; power demand exceeded pre-pandemic levels; car sales were up by a third; and foreign and local visitors filled hotels and resorts across the country.

With the World Health Organization declaring with great hope” an end to COVID-19 as a public health emergency” in May 2023 and the Philippine government subsequently lifting the face mask mandate, other previously-restricted business establishments reopened, flights resumed at full capacity, students went back to campuses and public gatherings became normal.

Although the threat of contagion remains, there is great hope that the economy would not only rebound, but also exceed pre-pandemic levels.  This puts the Philippines back on track to becoming an upper-middle income country in a couple of years or a high-income nation over the next two decades.

In fact, the government aspires to have every Filipino enjoy a stable and comfortable lifestyle under AmBisyon Natin 2040.

There are challenges along the way, including the elevated inflation which stemmed from the pandemic-related border restrictions in the past, the threat of climate change on food production and the environment and many global uncertainties including territorial conflicts, volatile trade and evolving technologies that may affect employment.

Yet, the opportunities are more promising today than ever.  The Philippines is enjoying demographic dividends, thanks to its large population of young workers and entrepreneurs  who are ready to contribute to national development.

With solid economic fundamentals, strong financial system, prevailing political stability and conducive business environment, the Philippine economy is not only back to normal, but is also ready to soar.

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