Growth in ’10 adjusted to 7.6%; Noy claims credit

Published by rudy Date posted on May 18, 2011

The record growth last year was upgraded to 7.6 percent from the initial estimate of a 7.3 percent gross domestic product (GDP) expansion that made President Aquino gloat about his achievements in the economic front although he assumed office only in the second half of the year.

Allies of former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo had accused Aquino of stealing the credit for the economic gains for the whole of last year to dispel lingering criticisms about his laidback presidency.

Departing from the original

concluding lines of his prepared speech upon the inauguration of Santa Ana Hospital’s new floors in Manila yesterday, Aquino claimed that he managed to lift the economy.

Economic managers had re-analysed the data and concluded that their computation had been off by 0.3 percentage points, Aquino said.

“I would like to break the news to you that Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima informed me yesterday that they had completed the computation of the economic growth last year,” Aquino told a government forum.

“He said we made a mistake in saying the economy grew 7.3 (percent). The correct figure was a 7.6 (percent) increase.”

The initial growth figure of 7.3 percent was already the fastest expansion for the economy since democracy was restored to the country in 1986.

The government said when releasing the initial data in January that one main reason for the record performance — coming off growth of 0.9 percent in 2009 — was the rest of the world recovering from the global financial crisis.

It also cited renewed investor confidence in the government after Aquino won a landslide election last year on the back of a campaign promise to fight widespread corruption.

“Yesterday, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima told me that we have just finished computing the growth of our economy last year. We stand corrected because we initially said it was a 7.3 GDP (gross domestic product) increase. The correct figure is at 7.6 percent GDP increase,” Aquino said.

“Our critics say we are not doing anything. I guess heavens just sent this particular development. My friends, this is just the beginning. As Mayor [Alfredo] Lim said, we still gave five years and one month [to lead]. We can still do many things if we stand united,” he added.

Arroyo’s camp had previously slammed Aquino for his penchant of stealing credits from his predecessor especially in terms of economic growth which was practically corroborated by other known economists and analysts as well.

Aquino in the same event also cited the swift and effective health management program of the government emanating from the grassroots level aided by advanced medical equipment.

He said every Filipino would benefit from the National Health Insurance Program (PhilHealth) of the government where some P3.5 billion is allocated this year as insurance premiums.

PhilHealth has also allocated P350 million for the modernization of its information system that will expedite its transactions and services to the people.

The President likewise bared the government’s P7.1 billion budget this year to shoulder the health facility enhancement program where P5.7 billion were allotted for the improvement of rural health units and barangay health stations nationwide.

He added that P1.4 billion will be used to develop hospitals operating under the management of the DOH.

Apart from all these, the President also mentioned the ongoing training of health professionals including the specialization on the Basic Emergency Maternal Obstetric and Neonatal Care to address the increasing numbers of maternal deaths.

There are about 162 fatalities in every 100,000 women giving birth due to complications.

Under the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service or RN HEELS program, there were at least 10,000 nurses deployed to serve those living in areas covered by the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program while 500 medical doctors were sent to low income municipalities to extend services for two years under the “Doctors to the Barrios” program of the DOH.

Upon his arrival, the President was received by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and hospital director Dr. Mario Lato. They proceeded to the 6th floor for the unveiling of the project marker and inspection of the hospital facilities.

The first phase of the hospital covering 1st to 5th floors was inaugurated on April 28, 2010. It is one of the six local district hospitals in Manila operating as a Level III, 200-bed capacity tertiary hospital.

After a year’s operation, Sta. Ana hospital has served a total of 96,000 medical services and 110,000 ancillary and diagnostic services. Seventy percent of the patients come from the 6th district of Manila.  –Aytch S. de la Cruz, Daily Tribune

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