Home Economy Philippine Economic Targets Under Review Amid Global Conflicts

Philippine Economic Targets Under Review Amid Global Conflicts

MANILA - Economists from both the financial markets and academia have weighed in on the Philippine government's ongoing review of its macroeconomic growth targets within the medium-term fiscal framework (MTFF), stating that such evaluations are standard practice and not a cause for alarm. This reassessment aims to adjust the country's economic strategies in light of recent global developments.

According to Philippines News Agency, the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) is currently examining the MTFF goals to account for the potential impacts of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Israel-Hamas war, and other significant events that could influence broader economic objectives. This review process underscores the government's willingness to adapt its economic policies to ensure they remain relevant and effective.

Astro del Castillo, a veteran market analyst and managing director of First Grade Finance, commented in a Tuesday interview that the periodic revision of economic targets is a sign of responsive and prudent governance. He mentioned that such reviews are often expected by investors, as the financial and capital markets typically adopt a more cautious approach to the growth targets set by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). Del Castillo expressed that adjustments to the economic forecasts are viewed as a natural part of economic planning, emphasizing that there is no immediate indication that targets will be revised downwards.

Echoing this sentiment, Carlos Manapat, chair of the economics department at the University of Santo Tomas, remarked that it is customary for the administration's economic team to recalibrate policies in anticipation of future developments. He highlighted the government economists' access to extensive data, which enables them to make informed policy adjustments well in advance of potential economic shocks.

Roberto Galang Jr., dean of Ateneo de Manila's John Gokongwei School of Management, added that it remains to be seen whether the DOF and NEDA will need to revise their growth targets upwards or downwards. However, he affirmed that reviewing and potentially updating these targets is a prudent measure, given that the economic landscape can change significantly over time.

The DBCC, a cabinet-level body comprising top officials from the DOF, NEDA, Department of Budget and Management, and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, is responsible for reviewing and approving macroeconomic targets and fiscal policies. This process ensures that the government's economic strategies are aligned with current and forecasted conditions, enabling the Philippines to navigate through global uncertainties more effectively.