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Philippine economic recovery from COVID-19 may take 3 years –senators

Two senators on Monday said that the Philippine economy would need some time to recover from the adverse impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

"I expect a full recovery in two to three years. Confidence will be back when there is a cure or a vaccine. Prepare for a deep recession or depression," Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said in a text message.

He said the COVID-19 problem would likely linger for the next two years and the government needed to open the economy "smartly."

Loans should also be provided to small businesses and workers must be given assistance; health care facilities must also be better equipped.

Meanwhile, Senate Committee on Economic Affairs chair Imee Marcos said that economies taking the brunt of the COVID-19 health crisis was a global situation.

"To be sure, any economic recovery would be slow. In the absence of a vaccine or a potent cure, a 'new normal' where the world will conduct itself via physical distancing, travel restrictions, health concerns, etc., presages a slow-paced scenario that will bring about challenging adjustments that will affect economies," Marcos said in her message.

She underscored that the country's economic recovery scenario would depend on how COVID-19 transmissions would be handled. The senator explained that in a U-shaped recovery, "rebound takes place after hitting the bottom for a period of standstill."

"A second wave, which hopefully the Philippines is spared from, would prolong our present economic agony and would mean a shape different from U," Marcos said.

On Saturday, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines would likely see a "U-shaped" recovery next year, assuming the pandemic was contained in the second half of 2020.

"The domestic economy could slow down in the first quarter of 2020 and is projected to contract in second and third before gradually recovering in fourth quarter 2020," he said.

"On an annual basis, GDP is expected to shrink by 0.2 % in 2020 before it bounces back to about 7.7 % as the impact of the government policy support measures gain traction," he added.

As of April 26, the Philippine recorded a total of 7,579 cases of COVID-19, with 501 deaths and 862 recoveries.

According to the Department of Labor, over two million workers in the country have experienced job displacement because of the strict quarantine protocols that were implemented amid the health crisis. — DVM, GMA News