October 3, 2023

フィリピン上院 COVID警戒しつつ経済再開を





Hontiveros to gov’t: ‘Safety first’ in reopening of economy

The government should prioritize opening up “low-contact”, but high-potential sectors of the country to help in reviving the economy while controlling the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Senator Risa Hontiveros said Wednesday, March 10.

Hontiveros made the pitch as she expressed her disappointment over latest Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) report finding that unemployment rate in the country reached 10.3 percent in 2020, which translates to about 4.5 million Filipinos.

This was the highest unemployment rate that the PSA recorded since April 2005, attributing it to the quarantine restrictions, business closures and distancing measures implemented since the start of the pandemic in March, 2020.

But Hontiveros said more than four million were affected by the job displacement, as the unemployed workers had “mothers, fathers, siblings, children and families that are depending on them”.

“I am disappointed, as our economic managers should be too, that the January 2021 labor force outcomes are not much better than when we last looked in October 2020,” the opposition senator said in her statement.

“Ang tanging solusyon nila ay ang madaliang buksan ang ekonomiya. Pero paano ngayong tumataas pa ang COVID-19 cases at pasimula pa lang rollout ng bakuna? (Their only solution is to immediately open the economy. But how about now that COVID-19 cases are increasing and that the vaccine rollout has just started?)” she said.

Hontiveros said: “Instead of relying on people to confidently rush in to consume and invest when the economy is reopened, we need to ensure ‘safety first’ and support ‘low-contact, high potential sectors’ to get us out of this pit.” She reiterated her appeal to also prioritize service contracting, assistance for the safe resumption of work, budget for agriculture as well as digital skills at connectivity “so more people can work and transact from home, so foreign economic demand for business process outsourcing type jobs can be tapped now that the domestic economy isn’t about to take off.” “Huwag nating hayaang mas maraming Pinoy pa ang ‘magbakasyon’ sa mga susunod na buwan (Let’s not allow more Filipinos to go on ‘vacation’ in the coming months),” she said, taking a swipe at Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque’s earlier remark that the country has been vacationing for nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.