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Duterte admin retains growth targets, prepares P5.02-T budget for 2022

July 20, 2021 - Tuesday 6:07 PM by MDM

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President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team kept their growth targets and is proposing a record national budget for next year in hopes of powering up the economy from a pandemic-led recession.

At their meeting this month, the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) maintained their gross domestic product goal for this year to 6-7%.

For next year, the second half of which would see a new president occupy Malacañang, growth target was also unchanged at 7-9%.

To hit the targets, the DBCC said it would submit to Congress a P5.02-trillion spending plan for next year, which would be 11.5% bigger than the current budget.

“The proposed 2022 national budget will continue to invest in building the country’s resilience amidst the pandemic by prioritizing funding for COVID-19 response measures, such as healthcare development and social services, while also ramping up economic growth through investments in public infrastructure,” the DBCC said in a statement.

The Duterte government had repeatedly downgraded their ambitious growth outlook — which, at one point, hoped for a double-digit GDP expansion — after the pandemic sank the economy in deep recession and roiled the local labor markets.

As they are, the current targets are watered-down projections but they may prove difficult to achieve, as the detection of highly infectious COVID-19 Delta variant in the country brings a new threat to the economy.

“The relaxation of quarantine restrictions in high-risk areas must be complemented with an accelerated vaccination roll-out, in order to allow more businesses to operate and consumers to participate in socio-economic activities,” the DBCC said.

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