Gov’t now working on COVID-19 recovery plan—IATF says



President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered his economic team and government officials to prepare a recovery plan ahead of the expiration of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on April 30, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday.

Part of the officials’ mandate is to create an economic recovery plan, Nograles said, after the community quarantines aimed at curbing the spread of the disease disrupted economic activity.

“Ginagawa na nila at pinag-aaralan na nila. In fact, there was a presentation that was made. But ang caveat, ang colatilla doon was that hindi pa siya kumpleto; they still need more data to complete the presentation,” Nograles said during a televised briefing.

“So sinabi ni Pangulo na ituloy pa nila iyong ginagawa nilang studies,” said Nograles.

In his third weekly report to Congress as mandated by the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, Duterte said a technical working group (TWG) will be aiding the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in formulating initiatives to rebuild consumer and business confidence in the country.

Duterte said the TWG will submit its final report to the IATF on April 20.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had also conducted a survey on the impact of the enhanced community quarantine on the mutual fund industry, lending companies, financing companies, microfinance non-governmental organizations and their clients, according to the President.

Duterte said the inputs from the SEC survey will be used to evaluate the proposal for an economic recovery package bill.

“Slowly we are coming out with the game plan on what will happen after April 30,” Nograles said.

“We are fine-tuning everything,” he said.

On Tuesday, Duterte told Asian leaders that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a major negative impact on the Philippine economy as he urged them to ensure open trade in the region.

“COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill. We face the specter of a global recession,” Duterte said in a Presidential address.

“In the Philippines, we are bracing for a significant decline in economic output,” said Duterte.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said last week the COVID-19 crisis hit the Philippines “in a very hard way” and that the economic growth could settle between 0 to -1% this year. The Philippine economy grew 5.9% in 2019.

To soften the economic damage from the pandemic, the Philippine government is looking to raise P1.17 trillion coming from existing funds and concessional financing from multilateral institutions.

A portion of the COVID-19 funds will go to emergency subsidies for low-income households and other vulnerable groups suffering the most from the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic crisis./Stacy Ang

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