The relaxation of quarantine restrictions in high-risk areas must be complemented with an accelerated vaccination roll-out, in order to allow more businesses to operate and consumers to participate in socio-economic activities, according to the Philippine Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC).
The pronouncement came following the revisit of the committee on the country’s macroeconomic assumptions, growth targets, and fiscal program for fiscal years 2021 to 2024, in preparation for President Rodrigo Duterte’s submission of the proposed FY 2022 National Budget to Congress.
MANILA — Amid the declining number of Covid-19 cases in the country since it has peaked in April 2021 and the gradual reopening of the economy with more targeted granular lockdowns, Budget Management (DBM) Secretary Wendel Avisado reaffirms the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth target of 6.0 to 7.0 percent in 2021, 7.0 to 9.0 percent in 2022, and 6.0 to 7.0 percent in 2023 and 2024.
Mr Avisado emphasizes the DBCC’s support to manage risks and continue the gradual and safe reopening of the economy, subject to the strictest compliance to minimum public health standards.
“The intensified implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and recover (PDITR) strategy, along with the full vaccination of residents in high-risk areas, will help build consumer and business confidence, and improve our health system capacity and prevent community transmissions of the Delta variant,” he says.
Mr Avisado says a total of ₱665.72 billion had been released to fund the Government’s Covid-19 response and to mitigate the losses of low-income households, small businesses, and other vulnerable sectors.
“With these actions, we are optimistic that the country’s GDP may return to its pre-pandemic levels as early as 2022,” he says. In spite of this projection, the DBCC will have to review the GDP growth projections after the release of the second quarter (Q2) GDP in August.
Mr Avisado also chairs the DBCC. (TRC/The MiNT)
Featured image: Distanced passengers. Transport facilities as trains and busses operate with limited capacity in compliance with measures implemented by health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections. /Credit: DOTr Facebook page