Busi­ness Pri­or­i­tize in­fra projects, econ­o­mist tells gov’t

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Business -

MANILA -- With the Philip­pines twin deficits, an econ­o­mist of May­bank said the Philip­pine gov­ern­ment should pri­or­i­tize projects un­der its mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram.

Dur­ing the 2019 eco­nomic out­look jointly hosted by May­bank Philip­pines Inc. and May­bank ATR Kim Eng in Makati City Tues­day, Dr. Chua Hak Bin, May­bank Global The­matic, Macro Econ­o­mist, said the coun­try’s ris­ing deficit on trade and cur­rent ac­count are risks for the econ­omy.

Philip­pine Sta­tis­tics Au­thor­ity (PSA) data show that the coun­try’s trade deficit last Au­gust rose to USD3.51 bil­lion, up from the USD2.74 bil­lion same month last year.

The trade deficit has been ris­ing on ac­count of the strong growth of im­ports, as do­mes­tic de­mand con­tin­ues to be ro­bust.

PSA data show that im­ports rose by 11 per­cent last Au­gust while ex­ports in­creased by 3.1 per­cent.

In con­trast, the Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas’ (BSP) cur­rent ac­count (CA) as­sump­tion for this year is a deficit of USD3.1 bil­lion or about 0.9 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP).

Bangko Sen­tral ng Pilip­inas (BSP) data show that the coun­try posted a CA deficit of USD2.518 bil­lion, or about 0.8 per­cent of gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP), in 2017. This is higher than the pre­vi­ous year’s USD1.199 bil­lion deficit.

Chua said Philip­pines’ CA can be partly at­trib­uted to the “Build, Build, Build” pro­gram of the gov­ern­ment.

He fore­casts the CA gap to widen to about 3.5-4 per­cent of GDP in the third quar­ter this year. He said in­flows from Overseas Filipino Work­ers (OFWs) al­lowed the CA to post sur­pluses from 200311 but this is no longer the case be­cause of de­clin­ing in­flows com­ing from the Mid­dle East.

And with the cur­rent gov­ern­ment’s mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture pro­gram, Chua raised the need for it to pri­or­i­tize projects, fo­cus­ing on those that will have greater po­ten­tial to raise, among oth­ers, tourism re­ceipts and for­eign ex­change re­serves.

The gov­ern­ment has iden­ti­fied 75 pri­or­ity in­fra­struc­ture pro­grams, most of which are roads, bridges and air­ports that are seen to help pro­pel the econ­omy, most es­pe­cially in the far-flung com­mu­ni­ties of Min­danao. (PNA)

Cap­tains and de­ci­sion mak­ers from the Philip­pine con­struc­tion in­dus­try and its part­ner agen­cies will gather at the 3rd Philip­pine Con­struc­tion In­dus­try Congress on 8th of Novem­ber 2018 at Con­rad Ho­tel Manila to ad­dress rel­e­vant is­sues vi­tal to the growth and sus­tain­abil­ity of the Philip­pine con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

With the con­struc­tion in­dus­try as the sec­ond largest con­trib­u­tor to the growth of the Philip­pine econ­omy, the out­look is look­ing good for the in­dus­try as it has gen­er­ated enor­mous in­ter­est for in­vest­ments from both lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional key play­ers.

Or­ga­nized by the Con­struc­tion In­dus­try Au­thor­ity of the Philip­pines (CIAP) in part­ner­ship with the Philip­pine Con­struc­tors As­so­ci­a­tion (PCA) and with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of PhilConstruct Events,

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