By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY – The Philippines has transformed into one of the fastest growing and most resilient economies in the Asia-Pacific region and is emerging as the second fastest growing economy in Asia by 2019 Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) deputy governor Diwa Guinigundo said during the Sulong Pilipinas 2018 Philippine Development Forum at City Sports Club Cebu on Friday.
Guinigundo added that the country’s economy is well-placed to pursue growth that is not only robust and resilient but also sustainable and inclusive.
“The economy continues to grow and be sustainable because we have enough buffers to make it grow and grow inclusively. The buffers help us mitigate the impact of external and domestic challenges in the financial global economy, Guinigundo said.
Guinigundo added that adequate buffers from global headwinds include the country’s resilient Foreign Direct Investments of about US$10 billion that makes current account deficits manageable, spurring economic growth.
“Overseas Filipinos cash remittances and BPO revenues of more than $52 billion, FX reserves of $75 billion which is more than sufficient to fund a six-month of import cover. We also don’t have issues with external debts because we have an improved external debt reduced to about US$72 billion with a 12-percent payment from the GDP,” the BSP deputy governor explained.
Guinigundo bared that key risks and challenges the country faces for 2018-2019 are both external and internal.
External factors include political and policy uncertainty, threats of protectionist policies, uncertainty over pace of US Federal policy normalization and spillovers from the Chinese economy.
Internal challenges include rising inflationary pressures amid a booming economy, excise tax adjustments on selected commodities, and higher global price.
Infrastructure gaps are also part of the risks and challenges for the Philippine economy to slow down, Guinigundo added.