Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in today’s press briefing affirmed the Administration’s recovery plan amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte outlined in his fifth State of the Nation Address.
Secretary Roque made mention of the President’s priority legislation which includes the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan II and the passage of the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act, which is part of the Philippine Program for Recovery with Equity and Solidarity or PH-PROGRESO, the proposed stimulus package for our economic recovery.
Government interventions to stimulate growth were cited. The Palace official underscored the presidential message of assisting the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to recover through grace periods in their rental payments. “At sa mga nagpapaupa, pairalin sana po, sang-ayon sa ating Presidente, ang malasakit at bayanihan,” said Sec. Roque.
The Presidential Spokesperson also reiterated the Chief Executive’s support to local industries in order to revive the economy. “Tangkilikin ang sariling atin. Ito rin po ang mensahe ng ating Presidente para muling sumigla ang ekonomiya. Buy local and travel local while necessary protocols are in place,” said Sec. Roque.
Assistance would also be provided to most affected sectors, such as the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). “Inatasan po ng Presidente ang TESDA para sa retooling ng ating mga OFWs, ang CHED para sa scholarships ng dependents ng OFWs, at DA at DTI para magkaroon ng agri-entrepeneur programs para sa mga displaced OFWs. The President likewise directed po the Landbank to continue providing low interest loans to OFWs,” said Secretary Roque.
Roque stressed that policies and programs are indeed already in place, with the utilization of public funds to revitalize growth and the continuation of the Build, Build, Build program.
“Patuloy po tayong magbibigay ng ayuda. Patuloy po tayong magbibigay ng mga loan guarantees at patuloy po tayong magbibigay ng mga pautang sa mga negosyo dahil alam natin na kapag gumastos ang gobyerno eh ito po’y iikot sa ekonomiya at magkakaroon po ng mga bagong hanap-buhay yung ating mga kababayan,” Sec. Roque explained.
On the country’s monetary policy, Roque said that the government’s monetary board is pumping in money in trillions in order to broaden the country’s money supply to revitalize growth. “Pinababa po natin ang interest rate ng sa ganon ay makautang nang mura ang ating mga kababayan para sila po ay makapagsimula na sa mga kaniya-kaniyang negosyo. At bukod pa po diyan, pinalawak po natin, dinagdagan po natin yung salapi na nasa ating ekonomiya.”
In the same media briefing, Sec. Roque, who is also concurrent spokesperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), gave an update on the current COVID-19 situation in country, citing among others the country’s low case fatality rate.
“Mula po 2.9% noong July 14, bumaba po ang ating CFR or case fatality rate sa 2.37% kumapara po sa 4% global average,” Sec Roque reported, reiterating the fact that had the Administration not acted swiftly, more Filipinos would have been infected by now or may have died from the disease.
Secretary Roque assured the public that although there is a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, only a small percentage ends up with a severe or acute form of the disease.
“Wala pa po talagang 10 percent ang nagkakasakit ng mild at acute, at bagamat 80,000 po ang ating total nga na kaso, 80,000 more or less, ang death rate, wala pa pong 2,000 so 2 percent lang po mahigit kumulang ang ating case mortality rate,” Roque underscored. ### OPS-PCOO