Palace: If GDP falls due to Duterte's green policies, ‘so be it’

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - If the Philippines' gross domestic product (GDP) will further fall because of the Duterte administration’s environmental policies, so be it.

If the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) will further fall because of the Duterte administration’s environmental policies, so be it.

This was the statement of Malacañang on Thursday in the face of a slowdown of Philippine economic growth at 6 percent in the second quarter of 2018, lower than the 6.6 percent in the first quarter of the year.

"If GDP will further fall because of the desire of the President to protect the environment, so be it. We’re investing in the future and not just in the present,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia reportedly attributed the slowdown to the closure of Boracay and regulations in the country’s mining sector.

But Roque said: "We don’t approach policy purely on an economic and financial basis. The President of course, will exercise the powers of the state known as police powers to protect also the environment."

“He (President Duterte) has given further priority—higher priority to the protection of the environment – and he makes no apologies for it,” the spokesman said.

While they were “saddened” that the target of 7 percent to 8 percent was not met, Roque nonetheless said that the 6 percent growth was “still high."

"Of course, we’re also saddened by the fact that we failed to meet targets,” Roque said. “We will do everything to meet them; if we don’t, we’ll find out why and we’ll try to achieve the further targets for the rest of the year.”

"I don’t think it is alarming, because 6 percent is still high. People, do not forget that we may not have met the target, but 6 percent is very high – so putting things in perspective,” he said.

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