QUEZON CITY, Aug. 8 (PIA) - National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Secretary Karl T. Chua, in an online press briefing Friday, presented the government's plan on rehabilitating the country's struggling economy caused by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Chua, during his presentation, listed three components of the government's economic recovery program: (1) Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2); (2) continuation of the Build Build Build program; and (3) the 2021 government budget.
Expounding on the Bayanihan 2, Chua explained that both the House of Representatives (HOR) and Senate's versions of the bill will mainly provide fiscal support to the healthcare system, public transportation, and critically affected sectors and workers in areas under quarantine.
Moreover, Bayanihan 2 aims to enhance COVID testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment, which are expected to: boost people's confidence, get them back to work and restore consumer demand. The bill will also provide capital infusion to government financial institutions to allow them to lend to more small businesses, and help smaller banks.
The HOR's version of the bill includes two more provisions, which are providing equity support to strategically distressed firms, and allowing banks to dispose of their bad loans and assets so that they can free up capital to serve more businesses.
The Bayanihan 2 bill is now approved on its second reading in the HOR, while it has passed its final reading in the Senate last July 28. The bill is expected to be approved by the HOR on Monday.
After the government's imposition of an enhanced community quarantine in parts of the country including Metro Manila last March until May, the country's economy went on a slump with the gross domestic product (GDP) growth dropping by 16.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), this drop in the GDP growth rate is the lowest recorded quarterly growth since 1981.
A country's GDP is one of the most common indicators used in tracking the status of its overall economy. (JCC/PIA-IDPD)