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Philippines to revisit economic targets to account for rebasing, COVID-19

The Philippine government is set to revisit economic targets moving forward to account for the rebasing of growth and to take into consideration the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

According to newly appointed Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, the economic cluster is now in the process of revising economic growth targets.

"The first thing we will do is because we have new revised and rebased GDP (gross domestic product), we are going to of course adjust the targets," he told reporters in a virtual briefing on Tuesday.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) earlier revised 2019 economic growth to 6.0% from the previous 5.9%, after the base year was adjusted to 2018 from 2000.

"That's really a good and proper way to measure GDP to revise and rebase as needed actually every five or 10 years. That is the international guidance so that we are using the latest data and the latest framework," he said.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) last year already revised economic growth targets for 2020 to 2022 to 6.5%-7.5%, down from the earlier goal of 7.0%-8.0%.

Aside from the rebasing, Chua noted that the revision of the targets will take account of the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy, given the lockdown imposed on Metro Manila.

"The harder part is adjustments regarding that driven by the COVID crisis, so that is the harder part. This is a process that we have started and it really depends actually on the kind of trajectory that we expect to see within the economy," he explained.

The Philippines has so far recorded a total of 6,459 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, April 20, 2020. This includes 613 recoveries and 428 deaths.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered an enhanced community quarantine over Luzon from March 17 to April 13. It has since been extended until April 30 given the rising number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). — DVM, GMA News