According to an economic think tank, the Philippines is tallied as one of the worst performers in pandemic recovery among countries in the Southeast Asia.
IBON Foundation presented government data from different countries in the region and several reports from international institutions in their report, which details the country’s economic performance in comparison with its neighbors during the pandemic.
According to the independent group, the Duterte government “hyped” its legacy, and accomplishments in the pandemic period but lagged behind the performance of other countries in the region. “This is due not only to its poor COVID response, harsh lockdowns and refusal of economic stimulus, but also due to pre-pandemic mispriorities,” IBON said.
In their report, the Philippines ranked 8th out of 11 in economic recovery based on gross domestic product (GDP) after the outset of the pandemic. The Philippines also has the highest inflation rate in the Southeast Asia and the second in unemployment rate in the region.
Last March, IBON also reported on the widening inequality gap in the Philippines, which highlighted the think tank’s comprehensive opinion on the government’s handling of the pandemic in the country.
“Spending priorities continued to be distorted, with the amount spent on the COVID-19 response grossly disproportionate to the scale of the social, health and economic crises,” IBON stated in their Civil Society Report.
On June 7, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported the Philippines’ 5.4% inflation rate, the highest since December 2018’s 5.1%. Consumers also struggle as the price of fuel and other necessities continuously rise.
The current economic situation of the Philippines will beset the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who, during the campaign period, was not the top pick of business groups to lead the Philippines. However, recent additions to the economic team of the incoming administration garnered praise from different groups.
Basti Evangelista is a news and opinion writer who focuses on Philippine national politics and sectoral issues. His personal advocacy includes press freedom and social justice.
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