PH gov’t addresses twin crises of COVID-19 recovery and Russia-Ukraine crisis — NEDA

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua identified the government’s priorities and interventions to sustain the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Speaking in the Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines on Wednesday, Chua cited the government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. He also underscored the need to shift the entire country to Alert Level 1 and resume face-to-face learning to recover productivity levels. According to Chua, these will help the country bounce back from the estimated loss of more than PHP 40 trillion over the next 10 to 40 years because of restrictions on investment, consumption, productivity, and schooling.

“We are going to work hard this year to recover from COVID-19 and the quarantines that we imposed. The economic team has proposed a 10-point policy to open the economy. I’m happy to note that we are doing well in all our recommendations. We need to do more, sustain it, and not reverse [them],” said Chua.

Moreover, Chua also discussed NEDA’s recommendations to cushion the economy from the inflationary impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. These include the provision of targeted subsidies to affected sectors, ensuring food security, and the proposed four-day work week to cut 20 percent of transportation and energy costs for commuters.

“We have to urgently address the twin crises of COVID-19 and the Ukraine-Russia [tensions] but we still have to address our needs for the future. NEDA has proposed four areas that the next administration should focus on. These include smart infrastructure, improving regional equity, innovation, and addressing climate change,” Chua said.

According to the NEDA chief, these four key areas will help accelerate the economic growth of the country, resulting in its next level of development.

“All of these are the proposed priorities of NEDA that we hope the next administration will continue. I hope you will support the general direction of where we should be headed, and I look forward to working with all of you in the remaining months of this administration, and in whatever capacity, I will be after,” he said.