The Philippine economy recovered from the recession as its gross domestic product soared to 11.8% in the second quarter.

The April to June economic growth is the highest gross domestic product (GDP) recorded since the fourth quarter of 1988.

“Almost all sectors bounced back despite the imposition of the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) and the MECQ (modified enhanced community quarantine) last April and May 2021. This is a clear indication that managing risks, instead of shutting down large segments of the economy, stands a far better chance of improving both economic and health outcomes,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in a virtual press briefing Tuesday, August 10, reading a joint statement of the government’s economic managers.

Chua said unlike last year’s ECQ where 75 percent of the economy was shut down, most industries and services continued to operate, public transportation remained available, and workers were exempted from the curfew during the ECQ enforced in the second quarter.

“The increase in economic activity has led to more Filipinos regaining their jobs and income. The recent labor force survey results for June 2021 showed that the economy generated an additional 2.5 million jobs compared to the pre-pandemic level, and the quality of employment has improved given the much lower underemployment rate,” he said.

Chua, chief of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) will review the recent economic data and the risks associated with the Delta variant to fine-tune growth targets and adjust recovery strategies.

“Prospects for a strong economic recovery in 2021 remain promising. Although there are speed bumps given the current ECQ in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, we are now better equipped to sustain continuous positive growth,” he added.

The DBCC has retained its growth targets of 6 percent to 7 percent this year, and 7 percent to 9 percent in 2022.