PH spending vs COVID-19 hits $30.72B | Inquirer Business

PH spending vs COVID-19 hits $30.72B

Cash aid hikes sum of pandemic response measures to 8.7% of GDP, says ADB
By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:28 AM September 04, 2021

The cash aid distributed to vulnerable households in Metro Manila and other areas placed under the strictest lockdown last month jacked up the Philippines’ spending to fight the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic to $30.72 billion (over P1.53 trillion) as of August.

The latest update on the Manila-based Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) COVID-19 policy database on Friday showed the sum of fiscal measures for pandemic response inched up to a package equivalent to 8.7 percent of 2019 gross domestic product (GDP).

In July, the Philippines’ COVID-19 response amounted to $30.46 billion or 8.6 percent of GDP.


The ADB noted that the government last month gave away dole to about 10.9 million Metro Manila residents during the 15-day revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in a bid to contain the bigger threat posed by the more contagious Delta strain of the deadly coronavirus.


The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) had set aside a total of P14.67 billion sourced from agencies’ 2020 budget savings for the cash aid distributed in areas placed under ECQ in August.

Asean data

On top of the initial P10.89 billion distributed to all local government units in Metro Manila, the DBM released another P3.78 billion to 11 Metro Manila cities as well as the provinces of Bataan and Laguna for cash aid.

The ADB also added to the list of measures tapped by the Philippines for COVID-19 response the $2.2-million program spearheaded by the Japanese government and the International Labor Organization to help Filipino workers safely return to their jobs through digitalization.

In the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the Philippines’ pandemic war chest was surpassed by those of Malaysia ($143.3 billion or 43.5 percent of GDP); Indonesia ($115.33 billion or 11.4 percent of GDP); Thailand ($102.09 billion or 20.9 percent of GDP); and Singapore ($101.07 billion or 30.5 percent of GDP).

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TAGS: Cash Aid, COVID-19

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