Press Release
August 6, 2020

Robust stimulus package is the ventilator the economy needs

We lost P1.4 trillion during the first half. About P10.8 billion daily from April to June alone. The economy is gasping in the ER and a more robust stimulus package is the ventilator that it needs.

A comprehensive health response, especially testing, which in turn will rebuild confidence, is the main ingredient of the cocktail of cures. For example, fear of catching the virus is one reason for dampened consumption, which is 3/5th of the economic pie. We must flatten the curve to revive the flatlining economy.

We have to keep people and commerce moving safely. Lockdown should not totally ground all public transportation. Not everything on the economy travels along the information highway. Many, like food--the sector which posted growth--move on four wheels.

Transportation is key because not everyone can work from home. But land transportation still shrank by 66 percent. The evaporation of safe commuting options contributed to the surge of the official unemployment rate to 17.7 percent, which, in turn, plunged consumption.

The economic team, which is an autonomous unit in the administration and is on autopilot, largely insulated from presidential intervention, should present during budget hearings a second half battle plan.

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