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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

NEDA Chief says strong remittances will help maintain 2009 DBCC growth assumption

         Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Director General Augusto B. Santos said today in his presentation during the Cabinet meeting said that overseas Filipino remittances which have been stronger than forecast will help maintain the 2009 gross domestic product target of 0.8 to 1.8 percent for 2009.

        Santos thus said that despite the impact of Typhoon Ondoy, "it is best not to move for now the target of 0.8 to 1.8 percent for 2009."

        He noted that "using the latest available figures from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) and the NEDA Regional Offices and Office of Civil Defense on the impact of damages caused by typhoon Ondoy, our preliminary estimate shows that the recent storm could reduce the real GDP growth rate in full year 2009 by at least 0.043 percentage points," Santos said. He added that given this, the DBCC growth assumption of 0.8 -1.8 percent for 2009 could decline to 0.7 -1.7 percent.

        In his presentation, Santos said Typhoon Ondoy (international name Ketsana) damaged PhP108.9 million worth of infrastructure and crops and affected about 90,000 families as it brought a 40-year record-breaking, 41.6-centimeters total rainfall in a single day (the previous record was 33.4 centimeters in July 1967).

Santos also reported that the government is undertaking continuous search and rescue operations in affected areas and has ordered for temporary 24-hour operations of and a flat rate of Php10 for fare in LRT and MRT, as well as temporary price controls on basic commodities such as canned goods, candles, batteries, etc.

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