April 5, 2020

Policies are now being identified to help the country’s economy adjust to the “new normal,” the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

“The Inter-agency Task Force Technical Working Group for Anticipatory and Forward Planning (IATF-TWG-AFP), chaired by NEDA, is currently preparing to provide recommendations to rebuild confidence and adjust to the new normal,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia. “We are doing this even while the government accelerates the implementation of measures to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 virus,” he added.

The group was created through the IATF-Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases Resolution No. 16 on March 27, 2020.

Members of the IATF-TWG-AFP are the following: Departments of Science and Technology, Trade and Industry, Education, Health, Budget and Management, Finance, Agriculture, Tourism, and Information and Communications Technology; National Intelligence Coordinating Agency; Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; and University of the Philippines Resilience Institute. Other individuals or institutions from both the private sector and academe are invited as resource persons.

“As this pandemic affects various sectors, it is important for us to be able to characterize what this new normal would mean to each and every segment of the population. We are currently crowdsourcing for inputs on how the whole of government can address the challenges the country is facing,” the Cabinet official said.

The TWG will recommend programs and strategies to promote confidence in the country’s health systems through data analytics, recommend programs and strategies to rebuild consumer and business confidence, and recommend policies and programs to adapt to a “new normal” state of economic activities.

“The whole of government will also be ready to adjust plans and implement the necessary interventions as the air of uncertainty is expected to remain with us for some time. We aim for these strategies to cover the most pressing issues and build from there with forward planning as our lens,” said Pernia.

A progress report from the group is expected to be submitted to the IATF for Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on April 7 and the final report by April 13, 2020.

The group is currently conducting two surveys for business owners and consumers. The surveys can be accessed at: www.dof.gov.ph/iatf-afp-msme-survey/ and www.neda.gov.ph/consumer-rapid-assessment/. These will be followed by two more surveys: one for industry and services, and another for agriculture and fisheries.

The online public consultation on defining and preparing for the “new normal” is also on-going through: http://bit.ly/NewNormalConsultation