Acting Socioeconomic Planning and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief, Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua, believes the government can relax quarantine restrictions starting next month once the country rolls out its vaccination drive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
“We will go through another month of GCQ (general community quarantine) but I am confident that with the arrival of the vaccine and the data that we showed that we can better manage the economy by reopening further and safely and we showed that in October, November, December when we opened up and there was no spike in cases, I think after this month we should be in a better position to relax further,” he said on Monday.
“We strongly believe that with the data that we are seeing and if everyone cooperates I think we can further relax after this month,” he added.
He, however, reiterated the importance of following health standards like maintaining social distance, wearing a mask, and washing hands, and that the arrival of Covid vaccine will improve people’s confidence in the healthcare system.
He added that there is a need to further reopen the economy, as Metro Manila and adjacent regions are under GCQ lose P700 million in wages, salaries, and other income daily.Also, the country’s economic managers will conduct a monthly labor force survey instead of quarterly this year so it could keep a closer watch on how many people had lost their jobs or suffered from reduced income due to the pandemic. The data gathered will help the country’s economic managers make recommendations on the reopening of the economy. SOVEREIGNPH