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Manila, Philippines – Economic officials in the Duterte administration welcomed the signing of Executive Order (EO) No. 166, which aims to strengthen the implementation of the political agency in 10 points of the economic development pole to accelerate and support the recovery of the countries after the COVID-19 pandemic. .

The economic development group comprises the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Finance (DOF).

Under the order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte this week, the 10-Point Policy Agency proposes to do the following:

  • Strengthen health care capacity
  • Accelerate and expand the immunization program
  • Continue reopening the economy and expand public transport capacity
  • Resume face-to-face learning,
  • Reduce restrictions on domestic travel and standardize LGU requirements
  • Relax requirements for international travel
  • Accelerating digital transformation through legislative measures
  • Provide enhanced and flexible emergency measures through legislation
  • Reorient government decision-making and reporting towards more useful and empowering measures
  • Improving medium-term preparedness for pandemic resilience

“We commend the President for taking decisive action to align our economic recovery programs. These strategies will support our strong rebound from the pandemic and restore our path to rapid and inclusive growth this year and beyond,” the President said. Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III in a statement.

“We are now in a much better position than when the pandemic started. Today we see more businesses operating and more Filipinos able to go to work. Through the OE, we will be able to help more businesses embrace and pursue the full and safe reopening of the economy,” said Commerce Secretary Ramon Lopez.

NEDA said “better management of COVID-19 related risks allowed the economy to grow above expectations in 2021.”

With the transition from a pandemic to an endemic state of mind, the country can build on these gains to minimize the long-term scarring effects of the pandemic and mitigate the impact of external shocks, such as the Russian- Ukrainian, he added.

“We thank the President for supporting EDC’s 10-Point Policy. We will vigorously pursue the remaining agenda items to help improve our growth prospects and protect our national economy against external shocks, such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” the Secretary for Socio-Economic Planning added. , Karl Kendrick Chua.

According to Chua, the country has made significant progress in implementing the 10-point policy.

He noted that as of March 15, 2022, at least 70% of the economy has already moved to Alert Level 1, where most capacity and travel restrictions have been lifted.

Under Alert Level 1, NEDA estimates the economy may gain about 10.8 billion pesos per week of economic activity and reduce the number of unemployed by about 195,000 in the next quarter, compared to the previous quarter. alert level 2.

However, Chua stressed that the full benefit of Alert Level 1 cannot be maximized if the majority of schools are still closed for face-to-face learning.

NEDA estimates the economy is short by about 12 billion pesos a week as schools are largely closed. Additionally, a quarter of parents have to stay home to help their younger children study through modular or online learning.

Chua said this leads to drastic loss of productivity and loss of revenue opportunities.

“We are urgently calling for the full resumption of face-to-face learning in areas below Alert Level 1. We already have most of the elements in place to enable our full recovery in 2022. The largest piece missing is our education sector. More than the lost economic activity, we are concerned about our children’s learning and future productivity,” Chua said.

“Under Alert Level 1, children are allowed to participate in leisure and recreational activities for all indoor and outdoor venues, but children’s most important activity – going to school and learning fully – continues to be restricted,” he added.

Under EO 166, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-IED) and the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 are responsible for ensuring the proper implementation implementation of the 10-point policy agenda and alignment of all measures relating to the national government’s response to the pandemic.

The Economic Development Cluster (EDC), through NEDA, DOF and DTI, will be consulted prior to the implementation of any such measures.

“We will not slow down in the final months of the administration. We have already seen encouraging results from the continued reopening of the economy. To support this, all of EDC is committed to implementing policies and programs under the OE relentlessly to lay the foundation for faster and more inclusive growth,” said Dominguez.