Resurgence of virus is major threat to domestic economy — Neda chief

Neda Chua virus

Neda chief Karl Kendrick Chua

MANILA, Philippines — The resurgence of a virus is a major threat to the country’s domestic economy, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said Wednesday.

“I think right now, on the domestic economy, the only major threat is a possible resurgence of the virus, whether COVID or something else, but we have learned from our experience that we can manage both the economy and health together,” he said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

“The most important thing for me right now is to continue the vaccination program. Our booster vaccination rate is still, I think, one-fourth of the population. So, that is the most important to fast-track,” he shared.

Children and senior citizens should be prioritized in the vaccination program as they are vulnerable to diseases, he added.

According to Chua, policies and reforms are “well-placed to make the domestic economy grow.”

However, main threats to the economy are from external factors, said Chua.

“The main threats really are coming from the external side as I mentioned the Russia-Ukraine conflict that’s raising inflation, the [United States] monetary normalization — where interest rates are going up and we are somehow trying to also adjust our interest rates — and the slowdown of China as the biggest economy and our main trading partner here,” Chua said.

The outgoing Neda chief is prioritizing opening the economy fully by placing the country to Alert Level 1 and opening face-to-face classes.

/MUF

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