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P2.5T allotted for economic recovery: exec

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the government has allocated P2.5 trillion this year as part of the government’s three-pronged approach for economic recovery.

At the Job Summit organized by the Task Group on Economic Recovery-National Employment Recovery Strategy on Labor Day, Chua said the total budget for economic recovery this year is equivalent to 14 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“In fact, the 2021 budget was designed to achieve our economic recovery alongside other complementary measures,” he said.

Chua, who is also the National Economic and Development Authority director-general, said about P2 trillion, or 11.3 percent of GDP, will come from the 2021 General Appropriations Act.

On top of this, the government also implements P478 billion worth of fiscal measures this year.

These include P317 billion from the Bayanihan to Recover as One, P23-billion Social Amelioration Program 2 for the National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal or the NCR Plus, and P138 billion tax breaks to all enterprises under the Create law.

Citing a World Bank survey, Chua said 63 percent of businesses were open in November 2020.

However, only 9 percent of the surveyed firms were operating in full capacity.

He added that companies are operating at below capacity, mainly due to financial constraints at 52 percent, and insufficient consumer demand at 19 percent.

Chua said that while the government injects fiscal measures support to the economy, the safe reopening of economic activities is vital for the economy to move forward amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

He added that bringing back economic activities will help in accelerating job creation.

But for the country to safely reopen businesses and recover jobs, the government should ensure the strengthening of its prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrate strategy, as well as the timely implementation of the vaccination program, he added.*PNA

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