Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. (Screengrab from PTV)
MANILA – The national government is working round-the-clock to minimize the socio-economic impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and to ensure sustainable recovery of the economy, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Ahead of President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth state of the nation address (SONA) on July 27, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea made this assurance during the first of three pre-SONA forums aired over state-run PTV-4.
“We have been relentless in mobilizing every resource and seeking every opportunity to attain better days for our nation. We are confident that in spite of the continuation of this health crisis, our economy can resume its growth trajectory and that our economic and infrastructure development will generate jobs for Filipino workers enabling them to provide a more comfortable life for their families,” he said in his speech.
Medialdea acknowledged that the country will continue to face “immense challenges’ until a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available. However, he also assured that the President will not lose focus on his priority to “save lives and protect communities” by taking immediate action.
Among these actions, he said was the President’s imposition of strong quarantine guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.
He said the President also rolled out “the largest economic protection program in our history” such as the small business wage subsidy (SBWS) for small business workers and social amelioration program for informal sector families while the government proceeded to enhance and establish health facilities across the country.
“The government is spending as much as it can to support our less privileged countrymen. Yan po ang pagkalinga ng inyong pamahalaan (That is how the government takes care of its citizens),” he said.
Medialdea said while these emergency measures adopted to fight this crisis saved thousands of lives, they also have the inevitable result of constraining economic activity, thus affecting livelihoods.
He expressed confidence that after vastly improving its health system capacity, the country is now on the road towards reopening the economy with less restrictive quarantine classifications now prevailing in most areas.
He, meanwhile, reminded the public to stay vigilant by observing quarantine protocols such as physical distancing, wearing face masks, and frequent handwashing.
“We must act responsibly. As we transition to the new normal, your government’s pagkalinga (care) will take the form of a strong economic rebound. We shall save and restore as many livelihoods as we can,” he said.
Pre-SONA forums provide insights into the work, policies, programs, and accomplishments of the Duterte administration.
This year’s theme is “Patunay ng Pagkalinga” to highlight the government’s response against the crises that the country has experienced and is experiencing in an effort to protect and serve the Filipino people.
The first forum featured the Economic Development Cluster (EDC) and the Infrastructure Cluster (IC) and had Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno, and Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar as speakers. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency