Long-drawn-out pandemic a key risk to PH economy
The possibility of a long-drawn-out pandemic is one of the key risk factors that could derail the Philippines’ recovery from its deepest economic slump in recorded history—a risk that could be mitigated by emphasis on better government measures.
Thus said the head of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) as he briefed lawmakers on Wednesday about the state of the country’s economy during the ongoing budget deliberations.
“While the economy hit rock bottom, we are now on the road to a gradual recovery. However, we recognize the risks along the way,” BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said. “First, the possibility of a prolonged pandemic.” He noted that the end of the global health crisis—which has, so far, infected more than 241,000 Filipinos and caused the death of 3,916 locally—remained uncertain and a prolonged pandemic would continue to hurt the health and economic sectors of the economy.
“Nonetheless, improved strategies to strengthen the health sector, the passage of Bayanihan Act 2 and other legislative measures to support the economy, and targeted social reforms and sustained implementation of infrastructure program, will help smoothen and balance the road to recovery,” the central bank chief said.
To date, the BSP has done the bulk of the heavy lifting in terms of the government’s response to the public health crisis, having pumped in an estimated P1.3 trillion into the local economy through a slew of measures since the pandemic began in March.
Diokno also noted that potentially tepid global economic recovery also posed a risk to the Philippines’ recovery.
“No two countries are alike,” he said. “Each country is at different points of the epidemiological curve.
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