NEDA gives assessment on 2015 PH economic performance

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(File photo)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Some of the country's economic leaders believe that the Aquino administration has been successful in driving the Philippine economy upward over the past five years.

In a year-end briefing of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the Philippines' annual growth average is at 6.2 percent since 2010.

"This has been our highest five-year average growth since the mid-70’s," he said.

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Balisacan pointed out that the unemployment rate fell below 6 percent — the lowest on record. Social spending has also significantly improved during the term of President Benigno Aquino III.

The NEDA chief expects such growth to continue further, even as the next administration steps in. However, he said this is only achievable through the support of both public and private sectors.

"[W]ith the recent performance of our economy for three quarters of this year, we are confident that we shall see this high growth pattern continue and even improve throughout next year and the succeeding administrations, given the reforms and long-term investments in infrastructure and human capital, which we continue to pursue," Balisacan said.

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He added that the government should re-balance the economy by becoming less dependent on consumption demand and relying more on investments.

There is also a need to improve the quality of jobs in order to end poverty, he said.

"[W]e still need to further improve the quality of jobs available in the market and upgrade the skills of our labor force. This is the bigger challenge. Sustained increases in labour incomes can only come about by raising productivity."

He said the government has to improve infrastructure, maintain peace and order, and put in place measures to be more resilient to climate change.

Right now, the Philippines is considered a low middle-income economy. But Balisacan said that with continued reforms, it can move up to a high middle-income economy in the next six years.

"[W]e must continue to strengthen and improve the nation’s institutions, including political ones, as they play a critical role in the development process. A peaceful and credible transfer of power in 2016 will ensure continuity of growth."

CNN Philippines' Kristine De Guzman contributed to this report.