Finance chief remains optimistic in PH economy recovery amid pandemic

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III is optimistic the country's economy can recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dominguez told President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday that managing economic risks is the best way to reopen the economy amid the pandemic.

"Our experience with COVID-19 over the past several months tells us two things. First, the economy is strong enough to recover if we enable it to do so. Second, our best recourse to help the economy is to manage the risk," said Dominguez during the weekly meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Tuesday that the Philippine economy shrank by another 11.5% in the third quarter of this year as the pandemic continues to hold back consumer spending and business activity.

Although the July-September 2020 decline not as steep as the record 16.9% contraction in the second quarter of this year, it marked the first time after 35 years the country's gross domestic product contracted for three straight quarters.

"Managing the risks instead of avoiding them will allow us to safely open more of the economy and help the Filipinos recover their sources of income. This will also put the Philippines back in its solid growth and development trajectory," the Finance chief further explained.

Dominguez thanked the Filipinos for their sacrifice and cooperation in following health protocols amid the pandemic.

"These concerted efforts did not come without a cost. Our experience in 2020 thus far shows our resilience as a nation," he said.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez backed up Dominguez's statements, saying the reopening of economy will benefit the country with heightened public compliance to health protocols.

"The community quarantine will not be the determinant para bumaba ang cases, it will be the adherence sa mga health protocols. Wala sa reopening ng economy ang pag-increase ng cases kung hindi sa pagsunod sa mga health protocols," said Lopez, who is also present in the IATF-MEID meeting with the President.

[Translation: The community quarantine will not be the determinant in lowering the (COVID-19) cases, it will be the adherence to health protocols. The reopening of economy has nothing to do in the increase of cases if people will follow the health protocols.]

The Department of Health said on Monday there are now a total of 399,749 COVID-19 infections in the country along with 30,169 active cases. Some 7,661 persons died and 361,919 patients have recovered from COVID-19.