Wed. Apr 14th, 2021

MANILA – A technical working group of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has submitted its final report on the responsive and sustainable recovery plan of the government to address the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) on the Philippine economy.

According to President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth weekly report submitted to Congress on Monday, the IATF-EID’s Technical Working Group on Anticipatory and Forward Planning (TWG-AFP) outlined three phases of the government’s response against the Covid-19 threat, namely: response, mitigation, and transition to the new normal.

Duterte said the response phase focuses on strengthening the health system by increasing the number of Covid-19 testing, contact tracing, quarantine facilities, hospital beds, and medical equipment to curb the transmission of the virus.

Meanwhile, the mitigation phase provides strategies to ensure food security and reduce financial losses.

“Said strategies seek to define conditions that will allow social and economic activities to proceed while observing the rules set forth by the IATF and the DOH (Department of Health) to limit transmission of Covid-19,” Duterte said in the report.

Duterte noted that the transition to the new normal phase directly responds to the comments of some senators to engage a “whole-of-government approach” in formulating programs under the new normal scenario.

The last phase also requires the government to provide an economic risk assessment plan and to study the possible resumption of high-value sectors with a low risk of spreading the virus.

In line with the whole-of-nation approach, Duterte said the National Economic and Development Authority is set to convene inter-agency committees wherein national government agencies and local government units shall submit their priority programs and projects, as well as their respective budget priorities for fiscal year 2021 to effectively implement the strategies in the TWG report.

Aside from the TWG report, Duterte cited that the Philippine Statistics Authority is conducting a labor force survey to provide policy makers with relevant information on the impact of Covid-19 on employment and number of work hours during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period.

The survey also seeks to determine the virus impact on consumers to enable policymakers to “adopt responsive measures to aid consumers and boost the economy”.

The PSA has also shared its establishment-based survey results to assist the Board of Investments (BOI) in formulating measures to mitigate the adverse economic impact of the quarantine on investments.

Under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One’ law, the executive department must submit a weekly report to Congress, every Monday, detailing how the President used his special powers to address Covid-19 pandemic. (PNA)

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