While we understand that the decrease in our gross domestic product growth rate is a result of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)/modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), we are concerned by the steep drop which is much worse than what our government economists had expected.
The Philippines, we underscore, is not the only nation facing this economic situation. COVID-19 has had an adverse economic impact on countries like Singapore, Indonesia, the United States, France, Spain, Mexico.
The Palace is aware of the hardships and the sufferings of our people. We thus provided an emergency subsidy program, which is considered the largest single relief program in the country’s history, when we took the painful choice of imposing the strictest quarantine measure on our people.
Our resolve to recover at the soonest possible, however, remains strong. Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay is our battlecry. The economic managers of the Administration have put together a phased and adaptive economic recovery program, PH-Progreso or the Philippine Program for Recovery with Equity and Solidarity, to fight the pandemic’s effects on business and livelihood. We have likewise recalibrated our budget for next year and restarted our Build, Build, Build programs, subject to health and safety protocols, to create jobs.
Per the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the main contributors in our drop were the decline in manufacturing, construction, and transportation and storage – sectors that were greatly affected by our strict lockdown. We expect an improvement in the performance of these sectors during the second semester of the year, with our gradual reopening of the economy, as well as our proposed stimulus measures.
We reiterate the President’s call to Congress to fast track the passage of Bayanihan II, or the Bayanihan to Recover As One, which would boost our second-semester offensive against COVID-19; and the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act to help businesses recover and generate employment for our people.
We assure everyone that the government will continue working round the clock to strengthen our resilience and bring us back to the path of inclusive growth.