This photo taken on January 29, 2019 shows a general view of the skyline of the financial district of Makati in Manila. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) fell 0.2 percent year-on-year in the first quarter as the start of the year was marked with Taal Volcano’s eruption and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which not only slowed global trade and tourism but also forced a domestic lockdown to contain the disease.

The Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa on Thursday reported that the last time that GDP shrank was in the fourth quarter of 1998.

The first-quarter contraction cut short 84 straight quarters of growth.

Last Wednesday, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III acknowledged that full-year GDP “might be” worse than the Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee’s (DBCC) projection last month that the economy may post zero growth at best, or shrink by 1 percent at worst.

“I think April, May and June are going to be quite bad,” said Dominguez, President Duterte’s chief economic manager.

“We are monitoring reports from other countries, and it looks like there is no magic medicine for this thing,” Dominguez said, referring to raging COVID-19 pandemic.

GSG


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