THE next administration is legally bound to implement Executive Order (EO) 166, which contains elements of President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s economic recovery plan, unless it is revoked, the Palace said in a statement.
The President’s acting spokesman, Jose Ruperto Martin M. Andanar, rejected claims that EO 166 represents the outgoing government’s closing move in effecting an economic recovery.
“We do not share the view that this is the current Administration’s exit plan, for this forms part of the country’s preparation to build resilience under the new normal,” he said.
“Unless Executive Order No. 166 is modified or revoked, it will remain effective and operational,” he added.
EO 166 is a 10-point economic recovery agenda that, among others, designated the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National Task Force Against COVID- 19 as the bodies responsible for the agenda’s implementation and for aligning all government measures to ensure a coordinated response to the weakened economy.
The agenda calls for legislation that will facilitate the efficient rollout of emergency measures and the development of a comprehensive pandemic response framework.
Mr. Andanar said Mr. Duterte’s office is confident that the next administration will adhere to the principles of EO 166.
In a joint statement, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Finance, and the Department of Trade and Industry said EO 166 will boost the economic recovery.
“Through the EO, we will be able to help more firms adapt and pursue the full and safe reopening of the economy,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez was quoted as saying.
Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said in the statement that the Philippines has made significant progress in implementing elements of the 10-point agenda, citing the move to more permissive quarantine settings after the Omicron wave of the coronavirus receded.
Under Alert Level 1, NEDA estimates that economic activity will be boosted by around P10.8 billion per week and reduce the number of unemployed by around 195,000 over the next quarter, compared to the economy’s performance under to Alert Level 2, the next and less permissive quarantine setting.
Mr. Chua, however, said the full benefit of Alert Level 1 cannot be maximized if many schools are still not conducting face-to-face learning.
“NEDA estimates that the economy is… around P12 billion per week (below potential performance) since schools are largely closed. Further, one-fourth of parents have to stay at home to help their younger children study in modular or online learning,” according to the statement. “The result is drastic loss in productivity and foregone income opportunities.” — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza