More spending on government infrastructure could mitigate the impact of stricter quarantine measures in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby provinces from March 22 to April 4, 2021.
“Government spending especially on infrastructure would be needed more to pump-prime the economy, as a result, also in preparation for the 2022 presidential elections a little over a year from now,” Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said.
The state, through the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (AITF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases, implemented stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) for the National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna, Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan for two weeks to help address the surge in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases.
“The resulting reduction in the capacity and scale of some affected business and industries, somewhat reverting back to levels a few weeks ago, would slow down the pace of economic recovery,” he said.
Ricafort said the recent upticks in Covid-19 infections, with the March 22 figure at record-high of 8,019, “would also result in less people going out as a matter of prudence and would result in reduced consumer spending and slower pick-up in economic/business activities.”
He said while the latest measures are stricter compared to recent weeks, it is still “milder” compared to those implemented last year since it aims to “lower new Covid-19 cases and better manage Holy Week, which is a potential superspreader event as people travel, meet, and congregate, while keeping the economy as open as possible while observing strict health protocols.”
Photo by PNA