Nograles: PH Economy Recovering Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

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Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday said the Philippine economy is recovering from the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

During the second part of the pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA), Nograles said there are signs of economic rebound from Covid-19 induced slump.

“Mga kababayan, hirap man tayo ngayon, may mga senyales din na lumalaban at bumabangon ang ekonomiya (To my fellow countrymen, we may be experiencing difficulties but there are signs that our economy is improving and recovering),” Nograles said in his opening remarks.

Citing “evidence of increasing economic activity” in the country, Nograles said the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has surpassed its collection target for June 2020 by 4.4 percent or PHP1.8 billion despite the pandemic.

The BOC was able to collect PHP42.539 billion in customs taxes and duties, exceeding its June target of PHP40.739 billion.

Nograles also noted that the Philippines’ credit rating, according to Tokyo-based debt watcher Japan Credit Rating Agency Ltd., reached the “A” grade level for the first time in June.

He was referring to the Philippines’ credit score of “A-” with a “stable” outlook in June which is one notch higher than the previous “BBB+” and the highest rating the country has ever received.

“Even amidst the pandemic, international credit rating agencies have affirmed our sovereign ratings and have kept them at investment grade levels,” Nograles said.

More businesses have been allowed to resume their operations when President Rodrigo Duterte eased the quarantine restrictions in the country.

Nograles earlier said the government has crafted plans to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 crisis on the Philippine economy.

On July 7, Duterte said the Philippines cannot afford to completely reopen the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic, as it would only lead to a sudden spike in Covid-19 cases in the country.

Nograles, in his latest remarks, stressed that while the country suffered from severe economic recession, it is still considered as one of the best performing economies.

“Dahil sa repormang pinansyal at maayos na pangangasiwa sa ating ekonomiya bago pa man tumama ang pandemya, tayo ang isa sa pinakamalakas, pinakamatibay at pinagkakatiwalaang ekonomiya dito sa rehiyon (Because of financial reforms, we are one of the countries with strongest, most robust, and most trusted economy in the region before the pandemic hit us),” he said. (PNA)

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