PH ‘vulnerable’ to another surge in COVID-19 cases, says Fitch Solutions | Inquirer Business
Close  
ELEVATED RISKS IN 2021

PH ‘vulnerable’ to another surge in COVID-19 cases, says Fitch Solutions

/ 04:02 AM January 13, 2021

The Philippines is at risk of further COVID-19 outbreaks this 2021, that will expose the limited funding allocation toward the pandemic response and lead to a wider budget deficit, think tank Fitch Solutions said.

In a research note issued yesterday, Fitch Solutions pointed out that the budget allotment of P221 billion for pandemic response this year accounted for only 4.9 percent of the total national budget and only 1.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

ADVERTISEMENT

“Given that the Philippines has experienced the second highest fatality rate in the South East Asia region, after Indonesia, and the discovery of more contagious strains in the [United Kingdom] and South Africa, the Philippines remains vulnerable to another surge in COVID-19 cases,” the paper said.

“We expect the Philippines to lag behind other Asia-Pacific economies in securing vaccines for the population, which will mean risks remain elevated through 2021,” it added.

FEATURED STORIES

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Fitch Solutions noted that education, infrastructure allocations had edged out health funding in the P4.5-trillion Philippine 2021 budget that was enacted into law at end-December last year. There was a 9.9-percent increase in expenditure relative to the 2020 budget.

The national budget of P4.5 trillion was equivalent to around a quarter of the country’s GDP.

The Department of Budget and Management had said that the proposed national budget for 2021 would focus on containing the spread and mitigating the effects of the coronavirus while restarting the economy to help the nation reset, rebound and recover from the pandemic.

The 2021 budget sets aside P72.5 billion for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines, which the government targets to administer to the general population by the second quarter of 2021. Of this amount, P2.5 billion is lodged under the Department of Health, while P70 billion is under unprogrammed appropriations, dependent upon the availability of government revenues in 2021.

The budget also earmarks P283 million for the establishment of the Virology Science and Technology Institute of the Philippines that would spearhead studies on emerging and reemerging viruses, and P51.56 million for disease surveillance and monitoring of coronavirus. INQ

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Subscribe to Inquirer Business Newsletter
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Business, COVID-19, Fitch Solutions
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.