Record COVID-19 cases not convincing economic planners to change tack

Not even the Philippines’ record-breaking coronavirus cases can force President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic managers to change their pandemic fighting strategies.

Instead, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua insisted on their typical tack of keeping lockdowns to a minimum and controlling spending, over a year since the health crisis started, at which point many see the country is back to a grim square one.

Chua said, “We need to continue managing risks as Covid cases rise. We do this by focusing on localized quarantines and addressing the sources of highest risk so that the livelihood of the far majority will not be affected.”

With more granular lockdowns also come the government’s decision to stay pat against more fiscal stimulus. Dominguez said, “The DOF has always advocated a policy of conserving all our resources in anticipation of a recurrence of the contagion.”

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