Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua sees an economic revival in the second half of the year with the government seeing 5 million jobs created out of the 7.3 million jobs lost due to the Covid 19 pandemic.

Chua said in a virtual press briefing that the second quarter will see a contraction but the third and fourth quarter is seen to bring back 75 percent of the economy with the GCQ.

He said that “it seems like the second quarter will still be hit hard and we can expect the gradual recovery to begin in the third and fourth quarter so that we achieve as low damages as possible for the full year.”

What augurs well for the economy is the good news on the inflation rate, he said, with the May figure down to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent in April.Last May, 2019, the inflation rate stood at 3.2 percent.

“A number of reasons explain this. These include the continued implementation of the Rice Tariffication Law, which has brought down the price of rice by around PHP10 per kilo from the 2018 peak. In fact, rice inflation in May was negative 2.7 percent,” Chua, also the NEDA chief, said.

He also attributed the lower inflation rate to the government's effort to ensure the unhampered flow of goods and imposing price freeze during enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Chua said the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic are temporary and the government shall stay focused on achieving its target of lifting 16 million Filipinos out of poverty by 2022.

He cited that the Philippines reached its target four years in advance as the poverty rate in 2018 was slightly lower than 17 percent, the poverty rate target for the end of this administration.

There were two factors that will help shape the type of recovery that the people are seeking -- the proactive policies of the government such as the Bayanihan Act, Social Amelioration Program, Balik Probinsya Program, and wage subsidy among others and the public’s cooperation to maintain minimum health standards.

“The combination of these factors suggests that there might be a temporary deterioration of poverty but I think given the policies in place, we are on track to still improve our poverty numbers,” Chua said