PH economy strong enough to recover quickly from impacts -NEDA

CALOOCAN CITY, Nov. 19 (PIA) -- National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon, who heads the Task Group on Recovery of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said that the Philippine economy is strong enough to reopen and to recover fast from the pandemic, as the national government already crafted its plans for the new normal.

"The most effective strategy to have this economic recovery is reopen the economy in a way that it is safe, and therefore it's really having everyone to comply with minimum health standards," said Usec. Edillon, during  "The Virtual Presser" (TVP) on Wednesday, November 18, 2020, with host Presidential Communications Operations Office Assistant Secretary JV Arcena.

According to Edillon, over 8.8 million Filipinos lost their jobs from January to April, following the implementation of community quarantine to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in the country. While from April to July, as the country eases restrictions, over 7.5 million got their jobs back.

"The economy is strong enough to recover, so between July and October, what we did here was to relax the restrictions to open up the economy a bit, and we see that the seven and half million were able to rejoin the labor market," she said.

The surge of COVID-19 cases at the start of 2020 curved the Philippines to likely become an upper middle income country.  From 2016 to 2019, under the Duterte administration, the country's economic growth performance reached up to 6.6%, with low and stable inflation rate at 3% average, a strong fiscal position with 16.1% highest revenue and lowest debt of 39.6%.

"When we did the restrictions, it was really an objective in mind that is really in order to improve our health system capacity, in terms of testing, contact tracing, (and) the isolation," she added.

As of November 11, 2020, the Department of Budget and Management released a total of P386.1 billion of the approved Bayanihan 1 funds.

"We have funds that are really for the health sector to improve the P.D.I.T.R and then also to provide assistance to those who we know will be adversely affected by the quarantine restrictions," said Edillon.

The majority of the budget for Bayanihan 1 amounting to P211.5 billion was utilized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development for over 17 million low-income families affected by the strict community lockdowns.

The NTF's Task Group (TG) on Recovery has five clusters, each focusing on the recovery plan of the government amid the pandemic. First, TG on Economic Recovery will engage businesses and workforces in the fight against COVID-19 and expand economic opportunities. Second, TG on Social Recovery will guide Filipinos in thriving in the new normal. Third, TG on Governance will be people-centered, clean, technology-enabled, and responsive to be able to restart social and economic activities. Fourth, TG on Transport Support will provide safe mobility options for the public. Fifth, TG on Food Resiliency will ensure access to affordable and nutritious food during emergency situations.

"Now is the time, you know, we already expanded our health system capacity, and we think that we have found a way in managing this Hammer and Dance strategy. And so we really think with everything that is going on now, with cooperation with everyone in the society, we can actually do this, and we are now on our way to recovery," said Edillon.

"The Virtual Presser," launched by the Office of the Global Media and Public Affairs (OGMPA) in April 2019, is PCOO’s interactive online video platform to engage with the international and local media, including foreign audiences.

The OGMPA is tasked to connect government policymakers with the media and promote the Philippine government’s priority policy messages through engagements with  foreign and domestic audiences. (PIA NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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