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Government economic forecast ‘propaganda’ not going to happen, says think tank

The latest macroeconomic growth forecasts of the Philippine government are at this point just propaganda which are unlikely to be realized, economic think tank IBON Foundation said Wednesday.

According to IBON Foundation executive director Sonny Africa, the affirmation of the latest economic estimates are oblivious to the realities that the population faces today.

He said the latest growth estimates are “super optimistic” and are oblivious to the realities regarding the number of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that shut down, the number of Filipinos who lost their savings, among others.

“If you’re not acknowledging the economic scarring in cost, if you’re not acknowledging that your headline solution of vaccination is dragging, it doesn’t make sense na you know, you’re throwing out these huge growth estimates,” Africa said during the IBON 2021 Midyear Birdtalk.

The inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) on Tuesday retained its economic growth targets for this year with GDP at 6.0% to 7.0%, but noted that a review will be conducted after the release of second-quarter figures.

“It’s coming out of nowhere and it’s part of the untruth sa administration. Maybe in previous times, you make growth target projections cause it’s based on science, now it’s based on propaganda. The government doesn’t want to admit it’s doing such a bad job,” Africa said.

A number of economists and global credit watchers have already downgraded their economic growth outlook for the Philippines this year, and most are below the government’s target range.

Moody’s Investors Service expects the economic to grow by 5.8% this year, Fitch Ratings at 5.0%, and the First Metro Investment Corp. (FMIC) and the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) at 5.0% to 6.0%.

“Instead of improving what they’re doing, para shina-shock and awe tayo with all these fantastic targets which aren’t gonna happen,” said Africa.

“I think that’s the starting point of fixing the problem. You have to acknowledge so that a correct solution can be established afterwards,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 6,560 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 1,524,449. This includes 47,996 active cases; 1,449,579 recoveries; and 26,874 deaths.—AOL, GMA News