Palace supports economic recovery package as vaccine rollout expected in Feb
MANILA, Feb. 2 — The Palace is fully supportive of the economic recovery package by the Economic Team as vaccine rollout is expected to begin this month of February.
Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr, in a press briefing on February 1, confirmed that the first batch of vaccines from Pfizer and AstraZeneca are expected to arrive in the Philippines this month.
“Magtiwala po tayo sa sinabi ng Presidente, walang maiiwan, walang iwanan,” said Secretary Roque, who underscored the need to continue following the minimum public health standards of wearing mask, washing hands, and social distancing while the public awaits the coming of the vaccines.
With the expected rollout of the country’s vaccine program against COVID-19 this February, the Palace is hoping that this will help stimulate economic growth, especially with implementation of the economic recovery package to aid workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Alam na po natin kung paano mabuhay bagama’t nandiyan ang COVID-19. Alam na rin po natin magsisimula na tayo ng bakuna. Lahat po ito ay para lahat tayo’y makabalik sa ating mga dating buhay at magkaroon ng hanap-buhay. Sana po pag-ingatan nga natin ang ating mga buhay, para sa ating mga hanapbuhay,” said Secretary Roque.
In the same press briefing, National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua emphasized the need to implement the Administration’s economic reforms as a package for a more effective result instead of implementing just one or two of the reforms.
Secretary Chua presented in the press briefing the various economic reforms under the country’s economic recovery program, which include the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2, the 2020 and 2021 budgets, the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises Act or CREATE bill that has recently passed bicameral deliberations and is just waiting for ratification, the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer or FIST bill that is now awaiting President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s signature, and the Government Financial Institutions Unified Initiatives to Distressed Enterprises for Economic Recovery Act or GUIDE bill.
The current NEDA chief said that these reforms that make up the economic recovery package supports the safe reopening of the country’s economy. Sec. Chua explained that aside from the 2021 budget and the extension of Bayanihan 2 and the 2020 budget, CREATE will lower taxes and give tax incentives, FIST will address liquidity problems of firms, and GUIDE will address firms’ solvency problems.
Chua underscored the importance of reopening the economy to attract foreign investments. He added that implementing these reforms as a package while reopening the economy and providing targeted subsidies for the vulnerable will result to a bigger chance for economic recovery.
On another matter, Sec. Roque announced in the said press briefing the signing of Executive Order No. 24 by President Duterte that imposes a price ceiling on selected pork and chicken products in the National Capital Region.
“Sang-ayon po sa Executive Order, ang pinakamataas na dapat presyo ng baboy at ng manok ay as follows: ang baboy po, ang pigue P270/kilo, ang liempo P300/kilo. Ang dressed chicken po ay P160/per kilo,” said Roque.
Meanwhile, in support of the vaccine education campaign of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson, Roque talked to two Filipinos working in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) who have already received COVID vaccines.
Dr. Rommel Sergio, who teaches in one of the universities in the UAE, said that he received a dose of the Sinopharm vaccine through his employer. On the other hand, another Filipino, Lito Echivarria has received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Both Sergio and Echivarria encouraged fellow Filipinos to get vaccinated and to be open-minded about the vaccines instead of listening to fake news about the vaccines and vaccination. (OPS-PCOO)