The government’s economic managers downplayed on Friday the outcome of a survey showing that economic headwinds hurt the ratings of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his Cabinet, saying the economy is facing a rosy outlook going forward.
Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balisacan and Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman said in a joint statement they are confident in President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who continues to have one of the highest trust and approval ratings in the world.
“As surveys are primarily based on perceptions, not facts, let it be clear that on GDP growth, the Philippines’ real GDP growth of 5.3 percent in the first semester of 2023 in fact proved to be highest among emerging markets in the ASEAN-6, beating Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand,” they said.
“It was also the third fastest growing economy among Asian countries with available GDP data, following only India, which was first with a real GDP growth of 6.9 percent for the first half of the year, and China at 5.5 percent,” they said.
Results of the Pahayag third-quarter (PQ3) survey show significant drops in the approval rating of the President to 55 percent from 62 percent in the second-quarter survey. His trust rating also declined to 47 percent from 54 percent in the same period.
“This decline in PBBM’s approval rating extends to his Cabinet members and is notably driven by South Luzon,” according to the independent and non-commissioned survey conducted by PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. from Sept. 7 to 12, 2023.
The economic noted that the Philippines’ economic growth performance appreciated in an environment “where we continue to have elevated global economic and financial uncertainty.”
The economic team said that regardless of any survey, they were working doubly hard to improve the economy even against various headwinds and ensure that the government’s package of economic policies remains sound, responsive and coherent.
Pangandaman said that as far back as Aug. 9, 2023, the Department of Budget and Management already issued a circular asking national government agencies to quicken the implementation of their programs and projects in light of the significant drop in government spending in the second quarter of 2023 to bring the growth rate back on target.
“Our monetary and fiscal authorities have also been working tirelessly and in a coordinated manner to temper inflation to bring it back to the target range of 2 percent to 4 percent by Q4 2023 and settle within the target range in 2024 and 2025,” she said.
They said the Philippine economic performance in 2022 was one of the best in the world, and “we will do everything we can to make sure that we continue to achieve our growth targets and stay on track with our agenda for prosperity.”