Lacson: Easing of curbs to boost PHL recovery


The easing of curfew and transportation restrictions will benefit the Philippine economy, which has received quite a beating from the effects of the pandemic, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Thursday.

But while Lacson supported the moves that would enhance business activities and strengthen the economy, he reminded authorities to maintain containment strategies to prevent the virus from spreading.

“I support the moves leading to the reopening of the economy, to revive our business activities. But our authorities must sustain the containment strategies in place,” he said at the first Lacon-Sotto media forum.

“As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time we opened the economy by lifting curfews and increasing the capacities for passenger buses,” he added.

Lacson is running for President under Partido Reporma while Senate
President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is running for Vice President under the
Nationalist People’s Coalition.

On the other hand, Lacson said it is equally important that the government continue its testing, tracing, treatment and vaccination efforts.

He said it is important that local government officials roll out vaccines soonest as some of them have voiced fears that the vaccines they got may expire in one to three months.

“It is important to ensure an efficient rollout of the vaccines so we don’t waste them,” Lacson said.

Citing data from the National Economic and Development Authority, Lacson said the lockdowns in Metro Manila and elsewhere have caused P20.5 billion in losses per day—with micro, small and medium enterprises hit hardest.

Citing data from a study of the ADB Institute, he said micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) accounted for 73 percent of layoffs as of February 2021, while figures from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed MSMEs—comprising 99.5 percent of all enterprises and 63.2 percent of the labor force—took the first blow last year due to widespread community lockdowns.

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