Economic roadmap must complement medical strategy: Cayetano

Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday urged the national government to adopt a comprehensive and transformative roadmap that would support the country’s medical approach against the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview with Bombo Radyo Baguio on April 14, Cayetano said while the medical approach is important, Filipinos are also worried about having enough money to buy food and other basic necessities.

“Napakaimportante nung medical (approach), yung bakuna at minimum health protocols at saka yung maganda ang tulog at kain natin. (Pero) madaling sabihin na maganda ang tulog at kain (mo) kung may pera ka. So, dapat yung ekonomiya, tinitignan din natin,” he said.

(The medical approach, which includes getting vaccinated, observing minimum health protocols, and having enough food and rest, is important. But it’s easy to say that you’re eating and sleeping well when you can afford it. So it’s important that we also look at the economy.)

Last year, the country saw its worst economic contraction since the Second World War. Meanwhile, inflation hit a two-year high in February as the prices of basic goods skyrocketed early this year.

Cayetano said an economic roadmap should contain national and local priorities, as well as a timeline for its implementation.

The lawmaker cited the American Rescue Plan, an economic stimulus package enacted by the United States Congress early this year. The measure has allocated funding to address unemployment, expand employee benefits, expand tax credits, support businesses and schools, support housing programs, and reinforce the US healthcare system. 

Cayetano said having an economic roadmap will help boost investor confidence in the country as well as in its local government units.

“Kailangan may plano at proactive,” he said. “Pag naglatag ng plano ang gobyerno, willing din naman silang maginvest basta predictable.”

(We need to have a plan. We need to be proactive. Once the government offers a plan, the investments will come in, so long as the situation is predictable.) ###