Duterte adviser sees economic rebound by Q4
He also urged the government to further open the economy as the vaccine rollout continues and place the entire country under the most relaxed quarantine level or modified general community quarantine.
STAR/Miguel De Guzman, file

Duterte adviser sees economic rebound by Q4

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion sees economic recovery in the fourth quarter of the year as more vaccines become available.

He also urged the government to further open the economy as the vaccine rollout continues and place the entire country under the most relaxed quarantine level or modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

In a statement yesterday, Concepcion said the arrival of the Sinovac vaccines from China and those of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility signaled the start of the country’s economic recovery.

The first 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines arrived in the Philippines last Feb. 28, while 487,200 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were received last Thursday.

Concepcion is confident that the Philippine economy could rebound by the fourth quarter, should the country’s vaccine rollout go well, particularly during the second and third quarters of the year or the critical period.

“With vaccines to start coming in by May onwards, especially in the third quarter, that will bring in a lot of confidence,” he said.

Remember, 2022 is an election year. That is the biggest stimulus when people start to spend behind election.

The last quarter of 2021, which is Christmas, I believe, is going to be the chance for many of our MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) to get back on their feet. That should be the time that the economy must really be bouncing back,” he said.

He added that the first batch of around 2.6 million doses of vaccines purchased by the private sector from AstraZeneca are expected to arrive in May.

Meanwhile, the second batch of orders covering 14 million doses by the private sector and local government units from AstraZeneca would be delivered in the third quarter.

Concepcion said vaccines from other brands such as Moderna and Novavax are also expected to arrive in the third quarter, on top of the national government’s vaccine orders.

“That’s why we are putting a lot of pressure on the arrival of the vaccines and the implementation has to be excellent. Upon the arrival of the vaccines, people must be vaccinated so that, by the fourth quarter, consumer confidence would increase. Then we’ll have spending because of the Christmas season and the elections which would complement the numerous stimulus packages such as the Bayanihan 2, the CREATE (Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises) bill and the proposed Bayanihan 3,” he pointed out.

To hasten economic recovery, he is also pushing for a shift to MGCQ.

“As we vaccinate, we must put the entire country into MGCQ, boost domestic tourism to recover faster and allow the economy to open more. This is the last and only chance for our micro and small entrepreneurs to come back strong and utilize the fourth quarter as the start of their bounce back,” Concepcion said.

Based on his conversation with one of the biggest financing companies in the country, he noted that many micro and small enterprises have been affected by the pandemic with loans below P500,000 not being paid and those at higher amounts being settled.

“You can see the effect of our economic problem and how it is affecting the smaller entrepreneurs. Their lifelines in the banks are not as big as the medium and large companies, and I believe that as the vaccines arrive, we should open up the economy more.

That’s why our goal is to pursue all avenues from testing to vaccination,” he explained.

Although he is calling for the further opening of economy, he said schools should continue online classes to ensure the children’s safety.

Earlier, President Duterte said he would consider placing the entire country under MGCQ when the country has adequate supply of vaccines.

Most parts of the country are under MGCQ.

Those under the stricter general community quarantine are Metro Manila, Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City and Lanao del Sur.

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