Speaking before his supporters in Cebu City last May 27, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. boasted that the Philippines is the “fastest growing country in the world,” attributing this to the right direction his administration has taken to fulfill his campaign promises.
The latest figures from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) show that in the Asia-Pacific region alone, the Philippines is ranked ninth in gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.
This is at least the second time, by VERA Files Fact Check’s count, that Marcos made an inaccurate claim about the Philippines’ economic standing. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Marcos wrongly states that PH is ‘leading’ in economic recovery in Asia-Pacific, world)
In his speech, Marcos said:
“Sa ngayon, ‘yung ekonomiya natin dito sa Pilipinas, kasama ko lang ‘yung mga business community ng European Union at ‘yung mga iba’t ibang bansa, tayo ngayon ang fastest growing country in the world. Tama ‘yung ating direksyon. Tama ‘yung ating mga iniisip. Tama naman ‘yung ating mga ipinaglaban.”
(Right now, our economy,I just met with the business community of the European Union and other countries, we are now the fastest growing country in the world. We have taken the right direction. Our vision is right. We are right in what we’re fighting for.)
Source: Presidential Communications Office official website, Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. before Supporters In Cebu (archived), May 27, 2023
Marcos met his supporters in Cebu City after attending the launch of Pier 88, a P2-billion seaport project in the neighboring town of Liloan. In the 2022 presidential polls, Marcos got the highest number of votes in Cebu, the country’s No. 1 vote-rich province, with over 1.52 million out of 2,852,848 total votes cast.
The Philippines is not the world’s fastest growing country in terms of GDP. In the Asia-Pacific region alone, the Philippines–with a 7.6% GDP growth rate in 2022–is No. 9 among the 44 countries and territories, latest data from the ADB show.
In the latest report of the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippines recorded a 6.4% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2023 compared to 7.1% in the last quarter of 2022, with the wholesale and retail trade sector as the main growth driver. The GDP growth rate for the first three months of this year is the lowest recorded since the first quarter of 2021.
On June 2, the National Economic and Development Authority tweeted that the Philippines’ GDP growth of 6.4% in the first quarter of 2023 is “the fastest among emerging Asian economies” that have released their GDP growth during the period (India, 6.1%; Malaysia, 5.6%; Indonesia, 5.0%; China, 4.5%; Vietnam, 3.3%; Thailand, 2.7%).
In 2022, Fiji and Armenia posted the highest GDP growth rate with 15.9% and 12.6% respectively, based on the ADB data.
According to Investopedia, a financial media website, indicators of economic growth and recovery include a rebounding GDP, decreasing unemployment rate and stabilizing inflation rate. The Philippines lags behind its Asia-Pacific neighbors on these indicators.
The ADB earlier said the Philippine economy is projected to slow down to 6% GDP growth this year before slightly increasing to 6.2% in 2024. Inflation rate is placed at 6.2% in 2023 and 4% in the following year.
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Asian Development Bank official website, GDP Growth in Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Outlook (ADO), April 2023
Presidential Communications Office official website, Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. before Supporters In Cebu, May 27, 2023
Presidential Communications Office official website, PBBM sees Pier 88 in Cebu as vital piece of puzzle in pushing for connectivity, seamless travel, global trade, May 27, 2023
Cebu Daily News, How Cebu City residents voted?, May 11, 2022
Rappler.com, Cebu turns red: Former opposition bailiwick gives Marcos his biggest win, May 28, 2022
CNN Philippines, Most vote-rich province flips from Robredo to Marcos in 2022 polls, May 11, 2022
Commission on Elections official website, Voter registration data, accessed June 4, 2023
Investopedia official website, The 6 Signs of an Economic Recovery, accessed June 5, 2023
Philippine Statistics Authority official website, GDP Expands by 6.4 Percent in the First Quarter of 2023, May 11, 2023
Asian Development Bank official website, Philippines: Economy, accessed June 5, 2023
National Economic and Development Authority official Twitter account, 𝐏𝐇 𝐐𝟏 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝐆𝐃𝐏 𝐆𝐑𝐎𝐖𝐓𝐇 𝐀𝐓 𝟔.𝟒 𝐏𝐄𝐑𝐂𝐄𝐍𝐓 – 𝐅𝐀𝐒𝐓𝐄𝐒𝐓 𝐀𝐌𝐎𝐍𝐆 𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐑𝐆𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐀𝐒𝐈𝐀𝐍 𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐎𝐌𝐈𝐄𝐒, June 2, 2023
(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)