The latest surge in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) infections is expected to result to below-target growth for the Philippine economy this year, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez 3rd.
“Well, I think it’s going to be lower than what we expected. This surge in the contagion, which is incidentally happening in Brazil, Canada, France, and Turkey, and other places is certainly not good for the economy,” he said in an interview over Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.
He estimates the latest lockdown to cost the economy “one half of 1 percent.”
Economic managers have set a growth target, as measured by gross domestic product (GDP), of between 6.5 and 7.5 percent this year.
The country is registering a surge in new cases since March this year, with the new record-high registered last April 2 at 15,310 infections.
The government has initially set a week-long enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) for the National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby provinces – Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, and Laguna – collectively called NCR Plus from March 29-April 4 but extended this for another week, or until April 11, to address the rising infections.
Dominguez pointed out that despite this development, the death rate in the country remains below those of Western countries at 12 deaths per 100,000 individuals compared to over 150 deaths per 100,000 individuals in other countries. SOVEREIGNPH