Duterterioration of the Philippine economy

Weak before the pandemic:

  • Slowing growth since the start of the administration – 6.1% in 2019 the slowest in eight years
  • Swelling government debt – Php5.9 trillion (June 2016) to Php7.8 trillion (January 2020)
  • Failing agriculture – gross domestic product (GDP) share fell from 10.1% (2017) to 9.2% (2019); 1.4 million jobs lost between 2017 and 2019; slowest land distribution in 32 years (averaging just 3,400 hectares monthly); record trade deficit (Php7 billion in 2018)
  • Failing manufacturing – growth falling at 8% (2017), 5.1% (2018), and 3.8% (2019)
  • Poor job generation – just 477,000 annually in 2016-2019 compared to previous 815,000 (2010-2014) and 541,000 (2011-2015) 
  • Shrinking wages – Real value of NCR minimum wage fell from Php468 (June 2016) to Php448 (January 2020, constant 2012 prices); nominal NCR minimum wage of Php537 just 52% of Php 1,026 family living wage for a family of five (January 2020)
  • Soaring prices – 4.5% inflation in April 2018 the highest in seven years; 9.7% food inflation (9.9% for bottom 30% of households) in September 2019 the highest in 11 years
  • Widespread poverty – 12.4 million Filipino families (over half of the population) surviving on just Php132 or less per person per day
  • Neglecting health – budget share fell from 4.9% (2019) to 4.5% (2020)

Made worse by inept COVID-19 response:

  • Record economic collapse – GDP contracted 9.6% in 2020 including in major sectors: agriculture (-1.2% growth), construction (-24.2%), and wholesale and retail trade (-3.9%)
  • Bloating government debt – Php5.9 trillion (June 2016) to Php10.8 trillion (March 2021) 
  • Agricultural neglect – agriculture and agrarian reform only 3.2% of national budget (2021); trade deficit remains high at Php6.4 billion
  • Record joblessness – Real number of unemployed as high as 5.4 million (IBON estimates); full time work fell by 550,000 and low-paying insecure part-time work increased by 3.2 million from January 2020 to March 2021
  • Even lower wages – real value of NCR minimum wage even smaller at Php434.47 (April 2021); nominal NCR minimum wage Php537 just 51% of Php 1,058 family living wage for a family of five (April 2021)
  • Soaring prices – 7% food inflation in February 21 (5.8% for bottom 30% of households)
  • Record hunger – 15 million families (62.1% of total) went hungry last year
  • Dwindling ayuda – Php239.3 billion (Bayanihan 1); Php22.8 billion (Bayanihan 2); Php18.4 billion (2021 budget)
  • Snail-paced vaccination – only 1.02 million fully vaccinated as of May 25, 2021; 145,243 vaccinations per day (7-day rolling average) versus 615,930 needed to reach target 70 million Filipinos by December 2021; vaccines delivered to date just enough for 4.1 million Filipinos

Sources: Philippine Statistics Authority, Bureau of the Treasury, National Wages and Productivity Commission, Department of Budget and Management, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Bantay Bakuna, IBON estimates

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