Philippines is expected to record stronger growth this 2022 as the country is seen withstanding strong economic effects from the advent of new COVID-19 variants with the non-stop operations for vaccination.
According to Oxford Economics, the Philippines would be among the countries that may show a more promising growth this 2022 following a series disruptions such as repeated lockdowns last 2021.
Oxford expects a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.6 percent for the Philippines, higher than the expected 4.6 percent growth last 2021.
Oxford lead economist Simon Knapp said emerging markets in Southeast Asia particularly the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, as well as Japan and Australia would enjoy noticeable progress in their recoveries.
“Given the scope for catch-up from the worst of the crisis, we expect Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam to all grow by six percent or more next year,” Knapp said.
But as new COVID variants continue to emerge such as the Omicron, Knapp warned of further waves of the virus.
“These waves will result in some economic damage, albeit probably on a far smaller scale than seen in 2020 and 2021 as vaccinations should provide at least some protection and shield health systems from the worst,” Knapp said.
“New variants of the virus risk triggering temporary bouts of disruption, but vaccination programs should still allow improved mobility, fewer restrictions on activity and the start of significant tourist inflows,” he said.
The Philippines has so far fully immunized north of 35% of the population.
“This has allowed a reduction in restrictions and improved mobility. At the same time, the pace of vaccinations has stepped up, with the region’s advanced economies either moving into line or exceeding the vaccination rates seen in the eurozone and US, rapid progress in Thailand and Vietnam, and steady efforts in India, Indonesia and the Philippines,” Knapp said.
Oxford argued that most economies in the region have already shifted to “living with COVID-19 strategy.”
Knapp said this means gradually reducing the remaining restrictions on high-contact domestic service sector activity and starting to reopen to inbound and outbound tourism, though these plans could be delayed by Omicron.
With additional report: Louise Maureen Simeon, The Philippine Star
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