FIRST  QUARTER  ECO  GROWTH  CONCRETE  PROOF  REFORMS  WORKING

MANILA,
JUNE 1, 2006 (STAR) Press Secretary Ignacio R. Bunye said today the 5.5 percent growth posted by the economy in the first three months of the year is a concrete proof that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s reform agenda is working.

"Tough fiscal measures have produced huge dividends in terms of business confidence, investments, jobs and social services," Bunye said in a statement.

He said the good first quarter performance was also a result of good governance and the President’s determined focus on the economy, adding that she has not allowed herself to be distracted by political noise.

"The consistent performance of our economy speaks about good governance and a clear leadership focus on the economy, undistracted by political noise. This augurs well for stability, peace and progress," Bunye, who is also presidential spokesman, said.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) reported yesterday that the economy grew 5.5 percent in the first quarter despite the political wrangling and constantly soaring oil prices in the world market.

NEDA Secretary General Romulo Neri said the first quarter growth was backed by the strong performance of the agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and financial sectors.

In a radio interview this morning, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said it is important to note that the growth in the economy in the first quarter of 2006 was achieved despite various efforts to destabilize the political environment.

"One can just imagine that the economy would have fared a lot better if the country had not been buffeted by political distractions," he said.

Ermita pointed out that economic indicators such as the dollar reserves, remittances, and interest rates could have performed even better had it not been for the campaign to destabilize the government.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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