'Maring', floods won't dent Q3 growth
MANILA, Philippines - Despite the damage caused by tropical storm "Maring" and the southwest monsoon, newly appointed Department of Finance chief economist Gil Beltran does not expect this to have a significant effect on third quarter economic growth.
Beltran, who is also DOF undersecretary said "it will only have minimal impact" on the economy.
In the first quarter, the Philippine economy grew 7.8%, the fastest in Asia. Second quarter growth will be reported on August 29.
The Department of Agriculture estimated the combined damage to agriculture by "Labuyo," "Maring" and the southwest monsoon, at P2.6 billion, equivalent to 0.09 percent of projected third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP).
But Beltran noted "losses from the two major typhoons that hit the country in the third quarter can be recovered."
He said crop damage could also have been limited since the DA launched a replanting program for the adversely affected farms, which would allow farmers to harvest by November instead of the usual September.
As for manufacturing sector's losses from the two-day work suspension, Beltran said these can be recovered in the next few weeks.
"Replanting, rebuilding and reconstruction can make up for the expected losses in GDP... The economy has surplus savings from which to draw to make up for the damage,” he said.
New DOF unit
Meanwhile, the DOF has appointed Beltran as the department's first ever chief economist.
As head of the newly formed Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), he will be tasked to provide full-time analytical resource on emerging economic issues and developments for the government.
The OCE will also be in charge of establishing the DOF's early warning capacity, develop its stress-test mechanism, initiate environment scanning and economic impact analysis, and liaise directly with chief economists of multilateral institutions, banks, among others.
Beltran has served the Department of Finance since 1978. He graduated cum laude and dean’s medalist for academic excellence in the University of the Philippines in 1978 and finished class valedictorian in 1982 at William’s College in Massachusetts, USA.
In 1995, Beltran also received the Juan Kaunlaran Award from the DoF.