November 30, 2021

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said on Friday that the effective management of COVID-19 risks will allow the economy to recover to the pre-pandemic level in early 2022.

During the virtual Philippine Economic Briefing for the Foreign Chambers of Commerce, Chua listed the interventions that enabled the effective management of COVID-19 risks and the country’s continuous economic recovery.

These include the shift to the alert level system and granular lockdowns, removal of age restrictions on mobility and pilot opening of face-to-face schooling, and the increase in transport capacity to 75 to 100 percent.

Moreover, the Philippine economy grew by 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021. Improvements in the manufacturing production, external trade, public infrastructure spending, employment, and mobility also point to the recovery of key sectors.

“If we can perform at this level in the third quarter despite the ECQ and MECQ, we can expect even better performance in the fourth quarter of 2021. Our economic growth remains promising and we need to build on these gains to accelerate recovery, and prevent long-term scarring and productivity losses,” Chua said.

To solidify the country’s economic performance and to further accelerate economic recovery, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) proposes five key actions:

The first is reducing artificial barriers to vaccination, and expanding the vaccination drive to children from age 5 and above in the appropriate time.

The second is moving to Alert level 1 by January 2022, which will require everyone’s adherence to the minimum health standards especially during the holiday season.

The third is implementing the resumption of face-to-face classes for all schools in January 2022, with consideration to the lessons learned during the pilot classes conducted in selected areas.

The fourth is increasing public transport capacity to 100 percent for all transport types to ease public transport stations.

The last is streamlining all requirements for local and international travel to improve mobility.

“The data on our progress is likely to improve further if we focus on the safe reopening of the economy alongside the intensified vaccination drive, and reduce the barriers to mobility to allow the free movement of people,” Chua said.

The virtual briefing was organized by the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – Investor Relations Office (IRO). This event updated members of the foreign chambers in the Philippines on the government’s initiatives to accelerate recovery and its plans to build a better post-pandemic economy.

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