“Tingin ko po wala naman tayong alternatibo kung hindi magbukas po talaga ng ekonomiya. Naipakita po natin kung ano na naging impact ng ating COVID-19 kung hindi pa po natin mabubuksan eh baka mamaya buhay nga tayo mamamatay naman tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said during July 6 press briefing when asked about easing of quarantine protocols amid increased COVID-19 cases in the past days.
“So, ang tinitingnan po natin ngayon iyong balanse. Ano po ang ibig sabihin natin ngayon diyan? Habang tumataas ang numero tingnan po natin ang mga datos. Ang mabuting balita po, kung matatawag ninyong mabuti iyan ay karamihan po ay asymptomatic o hindi naman kaya mild iyong mga kaso ng nagkakasakit at ang severe at ang critical ay 0.5% at 0.1 o 0.6 lamang,” he added.
“So, ibig sabihin po, pagdating doon sa critical care capacity natin, mayroon naman po tayong kakayahan na magbigay ng lunas doon sa mga magkakasakit ng severe or critical. At titingnan din po natin iyong positivity rate na sinabi ko kanina, seven out of one hundred po ang nagiging positive,” Secretary Roque said. “So, habang wala pong bakuna, habang wala pong gamot ay talagang patuloy pong tataas ang kaso ng COVID-19 pero ang ginagawa po ng Pilipinas at ng buong mundo at napanood ko nga po over the weekend itong si… iyong pinuno ng United Kingdom, parang parehong-pareho po kami ng sinasabi na istratehiya – kinakailangan nang buksan ang ekonomiya pero patuloy pa rin po ang pag-iingat.”
At the same briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said “before the pandemic, the Development Budget Coordination Committee projected that the economy will grow by 6.5 to 7.5% for 2020. But with the pandemic, this has been downgraded to a contraction of 2 to 3.4% this year before rebounding to 7.1 to 8.1% in 2020. Unlike other countries, we are in a strong position to face this crisis as we have also greater monetary and fiscal space.”
“Like most economies, the Philippine economy also contracted in the first quarter of 2020 by 0.2%, thus ending 84 consecutive quarters of positive growth,” Diokno said. “Without doubt, the downturn in the second quarter of 2020 will be deeper as the extension of the lockdown further dampens domestic demand and lowers production activities and this reflected in the Philippines Manufacturing PMI which fell to a record low of 31.6% in April down from 39.7 in March.”
“With household consumption and balanced set of firms adversely affected, alongside greater precautionary behavior amid continued uncertainty and fear of contagion, this will further dent consumption and investment and ultimately economic growth,” the BSP governor said. “However, we need to carefully balance the objective of restarting the economy as soon as possible, while at the same time ensuring that minimum health standards remain in place to prevent subsequent waves of infection from occurring.”
Diokno said “we want to encourage consumption, we want to encourage production, we want to encourage investment. Kasi kailangan na natin na i-open up iyong economy. Kasi for as long as we are afraid to consume, to buy, we are afraid to invest, we are afraid to produce, walang mangyayari sa ekonomiya natin.”