The easing of curfew and transportation restrictions will benefit the Philippine economy which has received quite a beating from the effects of the pandemic, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Thursday.
But while Lacson supported the moves that would enhance business activities and strengthen the economy, he reminded authorities to maintain containment strategies to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Sinusuportahan namin ang move na magbukas ng ekonomiya, para sa ganoon medyo sumigla ang ating business activities. Huwag lang kalimutan ang containment strategy na nakasanayan natin (I support the moves leading to the reopening of the economy, to revive our business activities. But our authorities must sustain the containment strategies in place),” he said at the first LACSON-SOTTO media forum.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time mag-open up tayo, pag-lift ng curfew at pagtaas ng capacity ng passenger buses, tama ang move na yan (As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time we opened the economy by lifting curfews and increasing the capacities for passenger buses),” he added.
Lacson is running for President under Partido Reporma while Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is running for Vice President under the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
On the other hand, Lacson said it is equally important that the government continue its testing, tracing, treatment and vaccination efforts.
He said it is important that local government officials roll out vaccines soonest as some of them have voiced fears that the vaccines they got may expire in one to three months.
“Importante ang rollout kasi masasayang (It is important to ensure an efficient rollout of the vaccines so we don’t waste them),” he said.
Citing data from the National Economic and Development Authority, Lacson said the lockdowns in Metro Manila and elsewhere have caused P20.5 billion in losses per day – with micro, small and medium enterprises hit hardest.
Citing data from a study of the ADB Institute, he said MSMEs accounted for 73 percent of layoffs as of February 2021, while figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed MSMEs – comprising 99.5% of all enterprises and 63.2% of the labor force – took the first blow last year due to widespread community lockdowns.