Put PH under less restrictive MGCQ to revive economy, Neda chief advises Duterte | Inquirer News
Close  

Put PH under less restrictive MGCQ to revive economy, Neda chief advises Duterte

/ 01:08 AM February 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines should be put under a less restrictive modified general community quarantine to revive its ailing economy.

ADVERTISEMENT

That was the advice that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua gave in his presentation to President Rodrigo Duterte, which was aired late Monday night.

Chua, the acting chief of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), explained that the less restrictive quarantine would allow industries previously prevented from operating by a strict lockdown to reopen.

FEATURED STORIES

“We need to shift as soon as possible to MGCG for the entire Philippines — if possible starting March 1, 2021 — to address hunger or the high rate of hunger among Filipinos,” Chua said in Filipino.

According to him, the quarantine restrictions put in place since March 2020 has caused a total income of P1.04 trillion that year. He pointed out that, on average, that translated to P2.8 billion in salaries lost — or an annual income loss of P23,000 per worker.

While a lot of areas are now under an MGCQ, several business hubs like Metro Manila and Cebu City are still under a general community quarantine (GCQ).

Recently, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed the operation of some tourism areas while loosening restrictions on establishments, like movie houses, to allow public gatherings.

Under an MGCQ, more establishments would be allowed to operate again.

Chua pointed out that the worst hit by the pandemic were workers in sectors that were not allowed to operate under the more restrictive quarantine levels.

He added, however, that a less restrictive quarantine would not abandon health protocols in total disregard of the pandemic.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the holiday season last December, he noted, people went out to meet their relatives, and yet there was no upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

“So our recommendation is for us to balance everything,” Chua told Duterte.

Chua cited a Pulse Asia survey conducted last September that showed 39 percent of Filipinos were in favor of balancing efforts to revive the economy and control the virus. Then, he added, that figure rose to 73 percent in November, by which time the hunger rate had risen.

“So we’re not ust saying that the economy should be opened and let’s not bother with Covid cases. We need [to address] both,” he said.

It was not the first time Chua moved for the easing of quarantine restrictions: Last Feb. 2, he said that the public should brace for the easing of quarantine restrictions by March, in anticipation of the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines.

Currently, the economy is on a long downturn, with Duterte himself admitting it in a previous briefing.

Due to the pandemic, the Philippines posted its worst year-on-year gross domestic product numbers, as the economy shrunk by 9.5 percent.

It was the worst slump that the Philippines has experienced since shortly after the end of the Second World War.

RELATED STORIES

PH posts worst recession in 2020

Amid pandemic, PH joins countries with sinking economies — Duterte

[atm]

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, Karl Chua, less restrictive MGCG, NEDA, pandemic recovery, Rodrigo Duterte
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.