Corona impeachment won’t affect economic growth – PHL econ managers

The impeachment of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona is not expected to affect the country’s economic growth in 2011 and 2012, government economic managers said.   Investors know that good governance is necessary for economic development, said Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad.   “We cannot separate the quest for good governance and the improvement of the economy,” he told reporters late Thursday.   Abad added that investors may view it as beneficial to the economy in the long term.   This was echoed by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Cayetano Paderanga Jr. who said investors understand that the country’s economic fundamentals are strong and will not be usually affected by political developments.   “At the end of the day, the country’s economic fundamentals remain strong,” Paderanga added.   Former Budget and Management Secretary Benjamin Diokno, on the other hand, said the government may become distracted in resolving the country’s economic woes in its drive against graft and corruption.   Slower growth   The economy grew by 3.2 percent in the third quarter of the year as compared to 7.3 percent a year earlier.   This resulted in a decline in GDP growth in January to September 2011 at 3.6 percent.   Abad said the government expects the economy to grow by 5 to 6 percent next year after fully implementing its spending program.   This year, the growth may expand by as much as 5 percent or the midpoint of 4.5 to 5.5 percent, the official target range, said Paderanga.   The National Economic and Development Authority estimated the economy’s growth in the fourth quarter of the year has to expand by 7.8 percent for it to reach the full-year growth of 5.5 percent.   The slower economic growth has been traced to government underspending, prompting the Aquino administration to approve a P72-billion Disbursement Acceleration Package.   The package, termed a stimulus program, actually covers the amount of disbursements the government has earlier programmed.   Paderanga, however, said global risks, such as the financial woes faced by the US and Europe, may affect the country’s economic growth.   “The downside risks are the evolving global environment,” he said. – KG/VS, GMA News