U-SHAPED RECOVERY SEEN
With P655 billion already spent on helping 18 million low-income households and 3.1 million small business workers, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) now projects a U-turn economic recovery for the country.
Acting Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua revealed an incipient start of a U-turn and that is what the Bayanihan 2 program entails to ensure.
The government is continuously working on programs that will help severely affected sectors to cope with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“We are starting to see a U-turn in the trajectory of economic activity and manufacturing production," Chua said.
But "while we are not yet in the positive territory, we are hoping that we can continue to manage this recovery as best as we can,” Chua said in his presentation during a webinar hosted by Globe MyBusiness Academy in partnership with the Alumni Association of Xavier School, and Chinoy TV on August 21, 2020.
The NEDA chief explained that the government’s recovery program is comprised of three big areas: the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2), the Build Build Build program, and the 2021 budget.
Under Pillars 1 and 2 of the government’s phased and adaptive recovery approach, Php 655 billion pesos have been allocated to help people cope with the pandemic and improve the country’s healthcare system.
This includes the ramped up spending to protect the 18 million low-income households and 3.1 million workers of small businesses.
“Moving forward, we are optimistic that the Bayanihan 2 will help the country bounce back from the crisis with its improved provisions on the healthcare system, public transport, and restoring consumer demand,” Chua said.
He added that the government will also provide equity support to distressed firms that are deemed strategic and allow banks to dispose of bad loans and assets so they can serve more businesses.
Australian-based business analyst Mike Nolan Olalia said that the helping hand for the banks would allow the banking system to push the economic development for the country especially since many of the businesses have been ravaged by the pandemic.
In addition, Chua mentioned that the government is focusing on enhancing the productivity of the agriculture sector, as it also plays a crucial role in the country’s economic recovery.
Another area of concern that NEDA is looking at to ensure recovery is that of taking care of the agriculture sector.
“There's no way for the Philippines to complete its structural transformation if we don't make the agriculture sector productive," he said.
We have already taken huge steps through the Rice Tariffication Law and the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund. We can also do more through our infrastructure and logistics programs,” he said.