Economic Problems Of The Philippines – The economic damage from the pandemic could worsen with the government imposing stricter quarantine controls on Manila and neighboring provinces for two weeks from Tuesday amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases [File: Eloisa Lopez/Reuters]
The Philippine economy shrank more than expected in the second quarter and slipped into recession for the first time in 29 years as economic activity was hampered by the world’s longest and strictest coronavirus lockdown.
Economic Problems Of The Philippines
The Philippine Statistics Authority said on Thursday that the Southeast Asian country’s economy shrank 16.5% in April to June compared with the same period last year, the biggest drop in government GDP data since 1981.
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Gross domestic product (GDP) fell more than the 9 percent drop expected in a Reuters poll and worse than the revised 0.7 percent drop in the first quarter. Seasonally adjusted GDP fell 15.2 percent in the second quarter from the first three months of the year.
The economic damage from the pandemic could worsen with the government imposing stricter quarantine controls in the capital Manila and neighboring provinces for two weeks from Tuesday amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases.
Mr. Economic Planning Minister Karl Chua said that the Philippine economy is currently expected to contract by 5.5% this year, deep which is more than initially thought.
“The Philippine economy has slipped into recession with the [second quarter] GDP decline showing the negative impact of the slowdown on the consumption-based economy,” said Nicholas Antonio Mapa, senior economist at ING.
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“With unemployment statistics expected to rise in the coming months, we do not expect a quick turnaround in consumer behavior even as COVID-19 cases continue to rise.”
Some businesses were ordered to close and movement was again restricted in Manila and nearby provinces, which represent a quarter of the country’s population and the majority of economic activity.
Research firm Capital Economics said the 16.5 percent drop in the second quarter was likely to be one of the biggest declines in the region.
“Failure to contain the virus, continued restrictions on movement and insufficient political support means the Philippines is likely to experience the region’s slowest recovery,” Alex Holmes, an economist at Capital Economics Asia, said in a research note provided to Al Jazeera was sent.
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The Philippines recorded 115,980 confirmed infections on Wednesday, after Indonesia had 116,871 cases, the highest number in East Asia.
Record unemployment and a sharp drop in remittances sent home by overseas Filipinos weighed on private consumption, which accounts for about two-thirds of GDP. Exports experienced a double-digit annual decline from March to June due to limited production disruptions and a rough supply chain.
With inflation expected to remain low throughout the year, the central bank has room for further policy easing if needed, analysts said.
It lowered the benchmark interest rate by a total of 1.75 percentage points this year, a historic low of 2.25%.
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UK-based lender HSBC said it expected the central bank to cut rates again in the fourth quarter, leaving its key rate at 2 percent.
But the economist said that the government should increase the financial support of the central bank with many fiscal measures.
HSBC economist Noelan Arbis said in a research note sent to Al Jazeera that “Today’s GDP picture highlights the need for an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to stimulate the economy.
“The lack of significant fiscal stimulus is particularly worrying for the country, which currently appears to be the most economically affected in the region due to the pandemic,” Arbis wrote, adding that the political deadlock is contributing to the country’s economic woes.
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Politicians are considering spending plans and proposed corporate tax cuts that President Rodrigo Duterte hopes will support families and businesses affected by the pandemic. The amount of support proposed by the Senate – 140 billion pesos ($2.9 billion) – is less than that provided by governments in Southeast Asia. On more personal issues than issues, the Gallup poll across the country indicates the winner will still face a number of challenges, not the least of which is an economy hit hard by COVID-19.
Quick summary: The presidential election gives the Philippines its first chance to move away from the policies of current President Rodrigo Duterte, who has introduced a tough approach to the country’s criminal activities and imposed a long lockdown to curb the spread of the control pandemic. Duterte, who was elected in 2016, is not eligible for a second term according to law.
In a crowded field, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Leni Robredo emerged as the two front-runners. Marcos, the son of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, described his father’s time in office as a “golden era” in Philippine history. Robredo is the current vice president of the country and a critic of the current president.
Both Marcos and Robredo have been unclear about their policy commitments, but Robredo has positioned herself as a candidate for change. Marcos, who was confirmed by Duterte, presented himself as a return to the past.
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The youth vote in the election can be critical. Recent estimates show that nearly 33 million of the 65 million registered Filipinos are 30 years old or younger. Appealing to this group is very important for any candidate who wants to win the presidency of the country.
Filipino youth feel less safe: Media reports and data from the Philippine National Police indicate that violent crime and theft seen across the country are decreasing during the COVID-19 lockdown. Older Filipinos will generally feel safer walking alone at night in 2021 than when Duterte took office, even though younger Filipinos did not feel safer and still feel less safe. Most in all age groups.
Nearly six in 10 Filipinos aged 15 to 29 (57%) said they felt safe walking alone at night, not significantly different from the 56% who said so in 2016. This number is also up 14 percentage points from 71%. 30 to 49-year-olds say they feel safe, and 10 points lower than the 67% of those 50 and older who say the same.
Filipino women account for the lowest safety rates among young people. A slim majority of women in the 15-29 age group (51%) said they felt safe walking at night, compared to 65% of men in this age group. Women in this age group generally feel less secure than others in Gallup’s trends, and this could be an opening for Robredo to appeal to them.
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Filipinos of all ages struggle: While younger Filipinos feel less safe than where they live, most Filipinos of all ages are hurting economically. In 2019, the Philippine economy is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. That changed when the Covid-19 pandemic plunged the country into a recession that lasted until 2021.
While the economic recession in the country, the percentage of Filipinos who said it is currently difficult or very difficult to achieve increased by 11 percent or more in three age groups between 2019 and 2020. The difficulty of achieving this goal increased . This will continue in 2021, with Filipinos aged 50 and over most likely to report problems getting by (62%), followed by those between the ages of 30 and 49 (58%). Those aged 15 to 29 were the least likely to report problems (52%).
Implications: Feelings of security and attitudes about the economy divide younger and older Filipinos ahead of Monday’s presidential election. However, the particular importance of these differences in the election is not clear. Robredo has strong support among young Filipinos, while Marcos’ campaign seems well-suited to appeal to older members of society. These issues and the request of the two candidates in light of how they promise to fix, may weigh many Filipinos as they vote Vote.
These results are based on multiple telephone interviews with approximately 4,000 Filipinos, aged 15 and over, in each wave between June and November 2021.
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For results based on the entire national sample of adults, the margin of sampling error is ±2.1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
The margin of error reflects the influence of data weight. In addition to sampling error, problems with question formulation and survey implementation can introduce errors or biases into the results of public opinion polls.
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