The Philippine economy reels from Novel Corona Virus lockdowns that shut down businesses and thrown millions of Filipinos out of work. Our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank 16.5% in the second quarter of the year 2020. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), it happened when the country endured one of the world’s longest community quarantine orders to slow down the spread of the virus infections that have devastated economies.
The government has been calming the restrictions after millions lost their jobs in the first shutdown. Data have warned the country that it cannot afford to remain closed for much longer. Different regions are now under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) despite having numerous COVID-19 confirmed cases.
As the Philippine economy became active again with strict health and safety protocols, progress has seen in our country’s livelihood. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) stated in the first weeks of relaxed community quarantine measures that whole-of-society cooperation and maintaining the minimum health standards will ensure gradual resumption in livelihood and poverty reduction as the economy safely opens up. “Right now we are seeing a gradual recovery of the economy and employment has bounced back significantly. There’s a lot of uncertainty but the general direction is that we are going to see more opening up of the economy and we are going to make sure that people who are not able to work will be supported,” Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said.
Moreover, the rapid adaption of digital technologies can help our country overcome the impact of this crisis brought by the pandemic and achieve its vision of becoming a middle-class society free of poverty, as per report released by the World Bank and the NEDA titled “A Better Normal Under Covid-19: Digitalizing the Philippine Economy Now”. “This pandemic has caused substantial disruptions in the domestic economy as community restrictions have limited movement of people and reduced business operations nationwide. As we are now living with the new normal, the use of digital technology and digital transformation has become important for Filipinos in coping with the present crisis, moving towards economic recovery, and getting us back on track towards our long-term aspirations,” NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said.
The threat caused by the highly possible COVID-19 transmissions made people depend on digital technologies that can help them avoid frequent physical contact. We are all expecting the recovery of the Philippine economy as we are slowly adapting to the “New Normal” life. When the vaccine is ready, economic activities will finally back on its full operations.