• Melo Acuna

Vaccines to boost productivity, says NEDA chief

Recovery program’s implementation will ease recovery efforts


MANILA – For the government’s economic recovery package to take roots, it should be implemented soonest to support businesses and capacitate them to retain or enlist new workers. This was the view shared by Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendric Chua during the 42nd National Conference of Employers today.


“Our recovery program has been in place since last year and implementing this will help the economy recover and businesses to get back to their feet,” he said.


Speaking to a virtual crowd of employers from over 100 different companies on the government’s strategic policy adjustments for economic recovery, Chua said the implementation of the economic recovery package is the second component of the three-pillar strategy to facilitate the economy’s recovery by 6 to 7 percent this year and return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.


He added the recovery package includes a combination of fiscal, monetary, and financial instruments amounting to PHP 2,8 trillion or 15.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.


The reforms include the recently passed Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises or CREATE Act, which provides the biggest ever fiscal stimulus package for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in recent history, through a 5 or 10 percentage point reduction in regular corporate income tax rate.


He added the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer or FIST Act will allow financial institutions to dispose of non-performing loans and assets to address liquidity concerns of firms.


Two other pillars expected to enable the country’s recovery are the safe re-opening of the economy to modified community quarantine or GCQ, or better, at the proper time, and the timely implementation of the vaccination program.


“The data shows that employment responds very well to the level of quarantine. When we further re-opened the economy, unemployment in the National Capital Region (NCR) went down. But when we reverted back to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), it went back up. So, we have seen that the people will find employment if we allow them to do so,” Chua added.


He also underscored that vaccination of the A4 priority group of workers is moving quickly and will continue to improve once an additional 17 million doses are delivered within the next six weeks. This must be sustained to instill confidence among workers and consumers and safely reopen the economy.


Secretary Chua expressed optimism many workers will be vaccinated within the next few months because they will bring home must less risk to their family members.


“I have been a strong advocate of not only LGU but business or organization-based vaccination centers,” he explained.


He said the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) or National ID program has listed over 36 million Filipinos with the initial step to register. He explained employers may receive assistance from the Philippine Statistics Authority by hosting PhilSys registrations in their respective outfits or offices and factories. (Melo M. Acuña)

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendric Chua. (Screen Grab from 42nd NCE/Melo M. Acuna)

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