MANILA – Government economic planners are maintaining their gross domestic product growth target of 5 to 6 percent this year despite the losses incurred due to typhoon "Gener" and the southwest monsoon that recently hit the country.
Dr. Rosemarie Edillon, director of the National Economic and Development Authority National Planning and Policy Staff, said the impacts of disasters are already incorporated in their economic growth projections.
The country’s GDP already grew by 6.1 percent during the first half of 2012.
The NEDA calculates that these weather disturbances have resulted in total losses to property and infrastructure of about P9.1 billion to P9.4 billion, representing 0.088 to 0.092 percent of GDP.
The estimated impact also included the direct and indirect costs of disasters. These represent production losses, work stoppage and cancelled flights and classes.
This was, however, smaller compared to the total damage particularly in the agriculture sector caused by tropical storms "Ondoy" and "Pepeng" in 2009, which was reported at about P22 billion or 2.7 percent of GDP.
Edillon said economic planners also monitored slight uptick in the country’s inflation rate, especially in food prices, every time there was a disaster.
She also stressed that there were no increases in the country’s budget deficit after climatic disasters.
But while typhoons caused substantial damage and losses, they also provided a short-term boost in jobs resulting from post-disaster rebuilding efforts, Edillon said.*PNA