President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday said he would consider a proposal calling for gradual economic revival aimed at helping people affected by the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine in the country.
During the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) in Malacañang, Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion told President Duterte to look for plans on how the country could gradually shift towards reviving the economy noting the government’s social amelioration scheme can’t be implemented indefinitely.
“We have to bring back the jobs. For confidence to be brought back, I think they have to see that are numbers — the number of people getting infected are starting to taper off and go down,” Concepcion told the President.
The President hopes he could have time studying Concepcion’s proposal and come up with a response soon.
Meanwhile, the Department of Finance (DOF) said it would provide wage subsidy to small businesses that in the end aid the middle class cope with the current community quarantine.
There were calls for President Duterte to consider granting emergency subsidy to the middle class similar to the cash assistance given to low-income households affected by the lockdown.
The President expressed his willingness to help the middle class and tasked the DOF to look for possible source of fund.
During Monday’s meeting, Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said that apart from the government’s support for the low-income sector, the DOF is proposing a P51-billion assistance to the employees of small businesses.
The DOF will also improve social amelioration programs and incentivize tax contribution compliance.
The government placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine starting March 15 to April 30 and similar measure was adopted in the Visayas and Mindanao.
The DOF said the lockdown forced 436,000 small businesses to cease operations. A total of 3.4 million workers were affected by the current restriction. PND