Senators expressed hopes that the administration’s economic experts to will pursue a comprehensive recovery plan to save the ailing Philippine economy now that the country has officially fallen into a technical recession during the second quarter of the year 2020.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said he expects more intensive efforts to speed up the recovery even if there is a strict COVID-19 lockdown in metro hubs since March to stop the spread of the disease.
“I expected it. (It) will be hard for people to get back to work unless government can prove that it can beat the virus.”
“So far, the people, consumers, workers, investors think government is losing the battle. There is a lack of confidence. Hopefully, we can get our act together in the next two weeks,” Recto said.
Economic managers said the Philippine economy contracted by 16.5 percent during the second quarter, or at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown that put a stop to 75 percent of businesses in the country and rendered millions of Filipinos jobless.
Meanwhile, Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, chair of the Senate committee on finance, said he is not at all surprised by this development as “all economies of the world are in recession.”
“We, in the Senate, have shown our willingness to work with our economic managers to pursue a successful recovery strategy. Huwag lang sana nilang payagang waldasin ng PhilHealth ang pinaghirapang pera ni Juan dela Cruz (Provided, they won’t allow PhilHealth to waste the hard-earned money of Juan dela Cruz),” he further said, referring to the corruption issues hounding the country’s health insurance agency.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson also acknowledged the development, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has placed the government in a very precarious situation.
“That is why it is revolting to discover so much unabated corruption in PhilHealth involving billions that could have been put into good use in adequately addressing at least the issue of health,” he lamented.
“Having said that, I would like to believe, as often expressed by the country’s economic managers, that we continue to benefit from our strong economic fundamentals which can pull us through this crisis until such time that a vaccine that has guaranteed efficacy is finally invented to address the pandemic,” Lacson stressed.