Economic managers has welcomed the the signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 166 to strengthen the implementation of the Economic Development Cluster’s (EDC) 10-point-policy agenda to sustain the country’s recovery.
“We laud the President for taking decisive steps to align our economic recovery programs. These strategies will sustain our strong rebound from the pandemic and restore our path to rapid and inclusive growth this year and beyond,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said.
The joint statement was issued by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Finance (DOF), and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The 10-point-policy agenda proposes to: 1) strengthen healthcare capacity, 2) accelerate and expand the vaccination program, 3) further reopen the economy and expand public transport capacity, 4) resume face-to-face learning, 5) reduce restrictions on domestic travel and standardize LGU requirements, 6) relax requirements for international travel, 7) accelerate digital transformation through legislative measures, 8) provide for enhanced and flexible emergency measures through legislation, 9) shift the focus of decision-making and government reporting to more useful and empowering metrics; and 10) enhance medium-term preparation for pandemic resilience.
Better management of COVID-19 risks has enabled the economy to grow above expectations in 2021.
With a shift from a pandemic to an endemic mindset, the country can build on these gains to minimize the long-term scarring effects of the pandemic and mitigate the impact of external shocks, such as the Russia- Ukraine crisis.
“We are now in a much better position than at the start of the pandemic. Today, we see more businesses operating and more Filipinos able to go to work. Through the EO, we will be able to help more firms adapt and pursue the full and safe reopening of the economy,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the economic team would vigorously pursue the remaining agenda items to help improve growth prospects and safeguard domestic economy against external shocks, such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
The country has made significant progress in the implementation of the 10-point-policy. Notably, since 15 March 2022, 70 percent of the economy has already shifted to alert level 1, where most capacity and travel restrictions have been lifted.
Under alert level 1, NEDA estimates that the economy can gain around P10.8 billion per week of economic activity and reduce the number of unemployed by around 195,000 over the next quarter, compared to Alert Level 2.
However, Chua emphasized that the full benefit of alert level 1 cannot be maximized if the majority of schools are still closed for face-to-face learning.
NEDA estimates that the economy is short of around P12 billion per week since schools are largely closed.