Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez 3rd said the Philippines is likely to see positive economic growth this quarter as new coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases fall and the government’s vaccination drive goes into higher gear.
“There is good news on the horizon, however. In the second quarter of this year, we expect to begin growing our economy again,” he said at the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s virtual general membership meeting on Thursday.
In the first quarter of this year, the economy remained in recession, with the country’s gross domestic product decreasing by 4.2 percent. As a result, the country’s economic managers have revised their growth prediction for this year to 6-7 percent, down from 6.5-7.5 percent previously.
The fact that the country’s second wave of infections, which began at the end of March, is now drastically dropping gives Dominguez hope for the second quarter growth.
“We hope that this will be the last surge,” he said.
Covid-19 vaccine deliveries have begun to pick up, according to Dominguez, and inoculation is currently being swiftly increased. Also, the immunization program has been made available to frontline workers in essential industries by the government.
“If manufacturers deliver the vaccines as committed and planned, the Finance chief stressed the government expect to see a significant containment of the infections by the second half of this year,” he added.
The Cabinet official went on to say that the government should have enough vaccine doses to vaccinate not only the country’s 70 million adults, but also some of the 15 million teenagers once the vaccine is approved for them by the Food and Drug Administration. The administration is also discussing booster doses for next year.
“The Covid-19 pandemic should soon be contained,” he concluded.