Duterte on 7.1% GDP growth: ‘Napakagandang biyaya ng Diyos’

Published November 16, 2021, 8:21 AM

by Raymund Antonio

President Duterte has welcomed the third quarter year-on-year increase of 7.1 percent in the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP), calling it a “beautiful blessing”.

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during his “Talk to the People” public briefing on November 15, 2021. (Malacañang photo)

During a pre-taped public address aired on late Monday night, Nov. 15, the Chief Executive quoted financial news site Bloomberg about the country’s latest GDP growth, saying that it is a sign that the economy will soon be back to its pre-pandemic levels.

“Napakaganda naman ng biyaya ng Diyos ito (This is a beautiful blessing from God). The growth was due to strong household consumption during this pandemic and our economic—and our economy can soon return to its pre-pandemic performance,” he said.

“This is truly a good and welcome news because it affirms that our strategies are correct in balancing health and economy,” added Duterte, who earlier Monday formalized his bid for a Senate seat in the May 2022 polls.

GDP or the goods and services produced by the country grew by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021. It had been hailed by Philippine leaders, despite it being slower than the 12 percent growth recorded during the second quarter.

READ: Economic growth settles at 7.1% in Q3

In the third quarter of 2020, the GDP shrank by 11.6 percent year-on-year amid the prolonged quarantine restrictions due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) said that the uptick was due to increased wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles, manufacturing, and construction.

Notably, the agency said that the increase in household final consumption expenditure was the primary mover of the third-quarter expansion.

But even as the country slowly reopens the economy, the President reminded the public that “much remain (sic) to be done”.

“The virus is still here and continues to be a threat to our people and nation. Kaya ipagpatuloy po natin ang mask, hugas, iwas, bakuna pa rin—ang importante sa proteksiyon (That’s why we should continue wearing masks, washing our hands, keeping physical distancing, and vaccinating— these are important protections),” he said.