For Marikina Representative Stella Quimbo, an economist, lockdowns, keeping people alive and their welfare protected can be attained simultaneously. Quimbo noted between the Philippines and Malaysia, the latter’s cases have peaked and are going down already— with COVID-19 exacting far less economic damage than at home.
Quimbo said, “The figure with Malaysia begs the question: what have they done differently? We both partially opened up, Malaysia even held their elections. Then COVID cases increased. Six economic stimulus packages including income replacement for those under quarantine, and wage subsidies. That’s the BIG difference: they continue to provide ayuda. We did not.”
Quimbo and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco drafted a 400-billion-peso Bayanihan 3 bill, the third set of pandemic budgetary response, but the bill is stuck at the Lower House as economic managers that will implement it once enacted opposed it.