MANILA, Philippines — Data on how consumers and businesses have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic will be known by the end of April, said acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua as he prepares to craft a recovery plan to keep the country’s economy afloat.
“By the end of the month, malalaman na natin ang impact or ang total effect ng ating virus problem. At base dyan, kung may evidence na tayo, makakapagcraft po tayo ng maganda at angkop ng recovery plan. Yan po ang tututukan, ang priority,” Chua said in an online briefing.
(By the end of the month, we will find out the impact or the total effect of our virus problem. Based on that, when we have evidence, we will be able to craft a good and appropriate recovery plan. That’s our focus, our priority.)
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) rolled out surveys asking Filipino consumers and businessmen about the pandemic’s impact.
This information will help the government plan on how the economy will transition to a “new normal” following the pandemic, said then Neda chief Ernesto Pernia.
“Bago po natin pagusapan ang recovery plan, ang importante kasi dito ay alamin natin kung gaano kalala ba ang impact ng virus na ito at ng enhanced community quarantine sa mga negosyante lalo na sa mga maliliit na businesses,” Chua said.
(Before we talk about the recovery plan, what’s important is we find out how bad the virus’ and the enhanced community quarantine’s impact on businesses, especially the small ones.)
“Ang ginawa po namin sa Neda, sa gobyerno, ay nagbuild kami ng survey— consumer survey, business survey tapos may parating pa na mas malaking survey,” he added.
(What Neda, the government did was to build a survey. A consumer survey, a business survey and another one is underway.)
Among President Rodrigo Duterte’s marching orders to the new Neda chief was to study a recovery plan for the country’s economy following the COVID-19 crisis.
Businesses, big or small, were shuttered by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine excluding essential establishments like those related to food, medicine, health care, and the like.
The Luzon-wide lockdown is targeted to be lifted by April 30 but its fate – whether it will be extended or modified – has yet to be decided by President Rodrigo Duterte.
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