October 2, 2021

Accelerating the vaccination roll-out, managing risks better, and implementing the economic recovery program are the government’s three key strategies to reach the country’s growth targets for 2021 and 2022, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.  

In his presentation during Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s press briefing for the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) on September 30, 2021, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua shared the country’s progress for the first three quarters of 2021. 

“Makikita po natin dito na bumagsak nga po ang ating economic growth last year to as low as -17 percent for the second quarter of 2020 [at the height of the quarantines]. Pero bumabawi tayo dahan-dahan. At ‘yung pinakahuling naitala na growth rate natin ay positive 11.8 percent for the second quarter of 2021,” Chua said.  

[“We can see that our economic growth dropped last year to as low as -17 percent in the second quarter, at the height of the quarantines. However, we are slowly recovering, and our latest growth rate for the second quarter is now a positive 11.8 percent.”] 

Chua added that while prospects for the country’s economic recovery remain promising, its sustainability depends on the actions we take in dealing with the virus.  

Kaya po natin maibalik ang paglago ng ating ekonomiya to 4 to 5 percent this year and 7 to 9 percent next year by doing three important things. ‘Yung una ay accelerating ‘yung vaccination program. By next month po ay magsisimula na ‘yung general population, pati sa mga teenagers from 12 years old and up. So yan ‘yung pinakamahalaga na dapat nating gawin [sa oras] na pumasok ‘yung [vaccine] supply. Nakita po natin na mabilis ‘yung inoculation natin, abot na sa half a million per day ‘yung peak natin,” Chua explained. 

[“We can get back up to 4 to 5 percent growth this year and 7 to 9 percent next year by doing three important things. First is accelerating the vaccination program. By next month, this will be opened to the general population and will also include teenagers ages 12 years old and up. This is the most important thing we need to do as soon as the [vaccine] supply comes in. We have seen that our vaccine roll-out has been fast, reaching half a million per day at its peak.”]  

The second strategy that Chua mentioned was better risk management and the safe reopening of the economy. This involves lowering the age restrictions for those allowed to go out to enable more family activities, allowing limited face-to-face schooling in low-risk areas, and imposing granular lockdowns in areas with higher risk. 

“Naniniwala kami na tama ‘yung istratehiya natin to have granular lockdowns. At habang pina-pilot natin ito sa NCR, bumababa naman ‘yung cases. So gumagana po ito. So dapat lahat po ay magtulungan upang matiyak ang pagiging epektibo nito. Kasama na rin po ‘yung pag-pilot ng face-to-face schooling,” he said.

[“We believe that our strategy to have granular lockdowns is right. When we piloted this in NCR, the cases went down, so it is working. Everyone needs to cooperate to ensure the effectiveness of this strategy. This is in tandem with the pilot face-to-face classes.”]  

The final strategy is implementing the economic recovery program. This includes the timely use of the 2021 budget by reprioritizing it to address the gaps in education, health, and human capital development.  

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