The Philippine economy will achieve a full-year growth of 6 percent in 2015, before picking up over the next six years, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said Thursday.
“Our year-to-date performance reflects a steadily growing economy, and we are very optimistic that the Philippine economy will grow at 6 percent for full-year 2015,” Balisacan said in a year-end report.
“Taking into consideration the 6-percent GDP growth during the third quarter of 2015, we expect our high growth trajectory to continue in the fourth quarter of the year as domestic demand continues to be strong. Together with the recovery of advanced economies expected next year and of the global economy in the medium-term, economic growth can accelerate to a level that can bring us to higher middle-income economy status by the end of the next administration,” he said.
Balisacan said the economy was expected to grow 8 percent by 2021, which would make it a higher-middle income country. He said an annual growth of 7 percent to 8 percent under the next administration would be doable.
“[The economy] should be growing 6 to 7 percent or 8 percent in the next [six years]. [The] 7 percent to 8 percent, I believe is very doable. Our economy is still starting from a low base so we are not yet in that condition where you expect the economy to grow at a slower pace,” he said.
Balisacan said once the economy grew at this strong pace, the Philippines would join the ranks of higher-middle income economies. The Philippines is currently in the lower-middle income bracket, with a gross national income per capita of $3,500. The higher-middle income’ GNI per capita currently ranges from $4,126 to $12,735.
“If you continue the pace that we have now, we should be a member of the upper middle income country before the end of the next administration,” Balisacan said.
Balisacan said the next administration could take advantage of the backlogs in infrastructure, investment innovations and human capital buildup to raise the potential of the economic growth.
“You can take advantage of those backlogs by addressing them quickly so that you can raise the level of the potential growth of the economy,” he said.
“I think if it’s going to be business as usual, we don’t aggressively address these constraints to growth, infrastructure, human capital, innovation, and so on, then the potential growth of the economy cannot be higher than 6 percent,” he said.