MANILA, June 29 (Mabuhay) — The Philippine economy could contract by as much as 6.7% in the second quarter, which would put the Philippines in a technical recession, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said Monday.
“Hindi natin maiiwasan na talagang ‘yung second quarter ay magkaroon tayo ng contraction sa ekonomiya dahil sinara natin ‘yung ekonomiya ‘di ba,” he said.
“That was the height of the lockdown. Hindi natin masasabi na lalago ang ekonomiya natin dahil it came to a halt,” he explained.
Metro Manila, along with several high-risk areas, was under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 17 to May 15, followed by a modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 31.
A general community quarantine (GCQ) was put in place from June 1 to 15, and has since been extended until June 30.
According to Diokno, with another economic contraction in the second quarter, this would qualify as a technical recession with two consecutive quarters of contractions after the -0.2% performance in the first quarter.
“Kung sakali man na humina man nang ganon na negative, magkaroon tayo ng recession, inaasahan naman natin,” he said.
“Hindi bagong balita ‘yan, kasi ang sinasabi naman namin na dahil nga sa malakas talaga ang bagsak ng global economy, and ekonomiya natin ay inaasahan natin na -2% to -3.4% sa buong taon,” added Diokno.
He was referring to estimates released by the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) last week, indicating an economic contraction by as much as 3.4%.
Diokno noted, however, that the economy could recover as soon as the fourth quarter.
“The sooner we can normalize things sa Pilipinas mas maganda. Every day counts eh sa tingin ko,” he said.(MNS)