The Philippine government’s economic team is pushing for priority interventions to revive the economy which was greatly affected by COVID-19 pandemic. Among the interventions is luring investors who are leaving other countries in search for more resilient economies.
“We have to do many things in order to revive the economy and I would like to propose the following priorities: Number one, after we are confident that — that we can — that we are in control of the death rate and infection, we should restart and accelerate the Build, Build, Build Program subject to compliance of minimum health standards,” Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez said during the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases recent meeting.
He explained that the infrastructure remains to be the best driver of economic growth because it has the best multiplier effects in terms employment and shared prosperity.
“We should also hire contract — contact tracers en masse to boost our efforts to stop transmission and defeat COVID-19 while providing jobs,” he said.
“Doing the contact tracing. I think we can provide good jobs to people. Because sometimes it takes one contact tracer one whole day to do contact tracing for one case. So we need to hire enough contact tracers to match the numbers we expect that will come with more testing,” he explained.
“To attract investors who want to relocate from other countries and in search of resilient high growth potential economies like the Philippines, this will involve the urgent passage of CITIRA or Package 2 of the Comprehensive Tax Reform Program, which we now proposed to include flexible tax and non-tax incentives so we can target specific companies that we want to invest here. The bill has been with the Senate for a few months. We would like to ask for your support so that Congress can pass this before June 3,” he said.
“Number four, we have to stimulate the consumer demand. We must promote manufacturing of products that have strong and inelastic demand such as those as food production. Inelastic demand means that you will buy it regardless of what your income is or what the price of the good is,” Secretary Dominguez said.
“We would also like to support the whole value chain for the food products including food markets for efficient distribution similar to fruit and vegetable markets established many years ago in Japan,” he added.