Agriculture production grew 0.7 percent in the third quarter from a year ago, led by higher rice and corn harvests, the Philippine Statistics Authority said Monday.
The PSA said crop production, which contributed 52.7 percent to the total agricultural output, rose 4.8 percent, with palay and corn harvests improving 15.2 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Livestock production decreased 7.6 percent, pulled down by the 7.7-percent drop in hog output. The poultry output declined 3.8 percent, with production of chicken dropping 7.2 percent.
Fisheries registered a 1.9-percent growth on higher output of bigeye tuna, Bali sardinella, and blue crab, according to the PSA.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar said the performance of the Philippine agriculture in the third quarter was commendable after the sector faced various challenges, such as the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and severe weather in the months of July to September.
“The 0.7 percent positive growth is welcome news, as it confirms that we are on the right track particularly on our palay and corn production program initiatives in partnership with farmers’ groups, local government units and the private sector,” Dar said.
The PSA placed the value of agricultural production at P404.6 billion in the third quarter based on current prices, up by 4.1 percent from the previous year’s level.
Dar said the lackluster performance of hog and poultry sectors was expected because of the lingering effects of the African swine fever and low demand for poultry products.
“In all, we commend our ‘heroes’—the farmers and fisherfolk—who continue to persevere and toil despite the odds, and that the Duterte administration through the Department of Agriculture will provide needed support and interventions to further increase their productivity and incomes and subsequently propel the growth and competitiveness of Philippine agriculture,” Dar said.
Meanwhile, the PSA said the second-quarter gross domestic product growth rate was revised from the preliminary -16.5 percent to -16.9 percent. It said the major contributors to the revision were real estate and ownership of dwellings, from -20.1 percent to -29.7 percent; wholesale and retail trade and repair of motor vehicles from -13.1 percent to -13.9 percent; and financial and insurance activities from 6.8 percent to 5.4 percent.
The net primary income from the rest of the world recorded upward revision from -22.0 percent to -21.7 percent, while the gross national income growth was revised downward revision from -17.0 percent to -17.3 percent.
The Philippine Statistics Authority will release the third-quarter GDP data on Tuesday.
Moody’s Analytics, a financial intelligence company that operates independently of Moody’s Investors Service, said the Philippine economy likely contracted in the third quarter, although not as sharp as in the second quarter, on the prolonged impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Philippines’ GDP is likely to have contracted by 6 percent in yearly terms in the September quarter following a 16.5-percent decline in the prior quarter. Much like Malaysia’s, the Philippines’ economy contracted sharply during the June quarter, as the strict lockdown weighed heavily on domestic investment and consumption while exports plunged by 40 percent,” Moody’s Analytics said in a report.
“Unlike Malaysia, however, domestic COVID-19 caseloads in the Philippines accelerated over the September quarter, necessitating the extension of conditional restrictions. The surge in domestic cases is expected to have dampened the revival in domestic demand, giving rise to another quarter of contraction,” it said.
The economy went into a technical recession in the first half following the 0.7-percent GDP decline in the first quarter and the deeper 16.9-percent contraction in the second quarter.