By: Azzedine Globee Ong
During the last quarter of 2021, the number of cases in the Philippines seems to be fewer than in the past few months. With the lower number of cases, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) predicts to have a 7% economic growth in the fourth quarter to kickstart the government’s target next year in 2022. Despite the new COVID-19 variants, the Philippine government insists that Filipinos are more stable to handle the possible spike and are able to open the economy safer this time around. Similarly, a report that was posted last December 3 stated that 34.53% of the population is now fully vaccinated which mainly contributed to the unexpected growth rate of the economy.
According to a report by an economist, at least 5.5% of gross domestic product is expected for the last quarter of 2020. As he mentioned that the facilitating of low base/denominator impacts would prompt a more standardized speed of Gross domestic product (GDP) development of at minimum +5.5 percent by 4Q (final quarter) 2021, for an entire year Gross domestic product development of about +5 percent or considerably higher for both, taking into account further measures to return the economy with the reception of more limited size/granular lockdowns or Ready Level Framework cross country perhaps by December 2021 (Ricafort, 2021). After a 7.1% growth in the third quarter, the Philippine economy was able to exceed the expected outcome which leads to the government’s 4% to 5% growth assumption for the year.
Upon reaching the holidays season, there were at least 8,000 vaccination centers that were set up all over the Philippines. Different vaccines were also offered to the public such as Pfizer, Moderna, and China’s Sinovac. While everyone has been preparing for the holiday rush, the government also considered how it could help promote economic activity before the year ends. With that matter, vaccinated people can only go to different places once they present their vaccination cards and they get to have extra incentives like discounts from different restaurants. Just recently, the office of the Vice President of the Philippines provides incentives that include P500 fuel subsidies, grocery items, rice, face masks, and other items to public transportation and delivery drivers, and their relatives to get the COVID-19 shots being offered under the Vaccine Express initiative with local government units. With the different implementations being made by the government, people are getting more convinced to be vaccinated as compared to before that the idea of getting vaccinated is the least of their concern.
Based on a report last December, more than 57 million Filipinos have already received the first dose of the vaccine. The continuous nationwide vaccination program will further help the Philippine economy recover in 2022. The enhancement to the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021 says the Philippine economy will become 5.1% in 2021 and 6.0% in 2022, up from the bank’s September gauge of 4.5% in 2021 and 5.5% in 2022. With regards to that, the rising cost of fuels also contributed to the inflation outlook for 2021 and 2022 with 4.4% and 3.7% respectively.
With the different factors of improving the country’s economy, Filipinos are reported to be recovering slowly from the downfall of the pandemic two years ago. Although it may take some time, economists can foresee that the country is on the road to recovery as inflation rates started to rise and restrictions started to ease down which allowed more travelers to enter the country. Besides, the collective effort of the government and the residents has been working as the number of cases has been lowered. Lastly, public spending on major infrastructure could also contribute to the continuous growth of the economy.
Asian Development Bank. (2021, December 14). ADB raises 2021, 2022 growth forecasts for the Philippines. Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.adb.org/news/adb-raises-2021-2022-growth-forecasts-philippines
Cepeda, M., Mara Cepeda @maracepeda Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, & Cepeda, M. (2022, January 10). Robredo: Convince unvaccinated to get COVID-19 shots through incentives. Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.rappler.com/nation/leni-robredo-convince-unvaccinated-get-covid-19-vaccine-incentives/
McCarthy, J. (2021, December 03). The Philippines vaccinated 7.6 million people in 3 days. Duterte demands even more. Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/12/03/1061075517/the-philippines-vaccinated-7-6-million-people-in-3-days-duterte-demands-even-mor
Villanueva, J. (2021, November 09). Normalized growth of at least 5.5% seen for ph in Q4. Retrieved February 13, 2022, from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1159256