THE Philippine economy is in “bad shape” and “sinking deeper and deeper” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted this week.
“Ang ekonomiya natin, mga kababayan ko, is masama talaga. Biro mo naman ilang tao ang walang trabaho, the economy of the Philippines is really in bad shape (The economy, my countrymen, is really bad. Imagine, a lot of people have no jobs, the economy of the Philippines is really in bad shape),” he said in a televised address on Monday, February 1.
However, he stressed that other countries are also experiencing the same struggles.
“It is not only the Philippines who suffer. We, in the world, are suffering with everybody,” said Duterte.
The chief executive revealed that the country is losing P2 billion per day because of the pandemic.
“According to the Secretary of Finance, araw-araw ngayon hanggang matapos itong COVID, we are losing P2 billion na pera para sana ‘yon sa mga tao (According to the Secretary of Finance, day until the end of this pandemic we are losing P2 billion worth of money that could have been for the public),” said Duterte.
“The Filipino workers would have earned that money kung ang ekonomiya natin gumagalaw (if our economy is moving),” he added.
Duterte noted that the country’s economy was doing fine before COVID-19 hit last year.
Lahat ng bayan ng buong mundo bagsak. Talagang bagsak. Tayo maganda na sana noong hindi dumating COVID. We were doing fine. Hindi naman very good. We are doing good.
Tapos dumating ang COVID, walang kita (All countries of the world have fallen. We were doing fine before COVID. Not very good, but we are doing good. Then when COVID arrived, there were no revenues),” he said.
For his part, Duterte assured that the government is doing its best to keep the country afloat.
“So, we are sinking deeper and deeper pero hindi lang tayo. Lahat (but it is not just us. It’s everyone). Pero (but) we are trying our very best to keep us afloat,” he said.
In December 2020, the multilateral lender World Bank predicted that the Philippine economy will start recovering in the next two years as the country eases quarantine restrictions.
It forecasted the Philippines an economic growth of 5.9% in 2021, and 6.0% in 2022.