The Daily Manila Shimbun


Gov’t seeks ADB help on reopening economy without risking COVID-19 case spike

December 9, 2020


Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday said the government is consulting the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on how they can continue  reopening the economy while assuring there will be no surge in COVID-19 cases .

In a virtual forum, Nograles said the ADB is presenting a study to the government on the correlation between the different sectors of the markets and if it has anything to do with the rising COVID-19 infection.

“I don’t want to pre-empt them but we are consulting ADB… ADB is presenting us with a study on the correlation between the different sectors of the markets and if it has anything to do also with the rising infection,” he said.

“The ADB study is something that we are now currently assessing because this will really guide us on what sector of the economy we can afford to loosen up in our efforts to increase and pick up the economic activities around the country,” he added.

Nograles said they need to process the study with the help of local government units, different government departments and agencies; members of the IATF, and even with the private sectors.

For his part, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the IATF has to deal with managing the re-opening of the economy in a gradual and safe manner.

He said since the business sectors were allowed to gradually open, the health statistics in the country did not worsen.

“That has been our working parameter in the past months and we are happy to say that with that very gradual and safe approach, we are able to reopen practically all sectors in the economy and you’ve seen the health statistics they did not worsen, no threat or worry that there will be a spike or second wave,” he said.

“We were successfully doing the calibrated re-opening of the economy… We are not yet finished that’s why we continue to propose certain measures,” Lopez said.

Lopez said while the economy is still far from pre-pandemic level, it is showing signs of recovery.

“That means we have to continue with this principle of risk management rather than risk avoidance and I think that calibrated reopening is the key… Unlike with other countries where there is a spike (in COVID-19 cases), I think our decision is so far better since there is no spike,” Lopez said. Ella Dionisio/DMS