Duterte’s statement that PH will return to normal in 2023 worries experts, businesses

Some small businesses, even some experts, are worried about Duterte’s comment that by the year 2023, the Philippines will return to normal in the midst of the pandemic.

Economist Calixto Chikiamco warns that entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers themselves may lose confidence.

“It is kind of scary, because it will put a chill on consumption, it will put a chill on lending, it will put a chill on investments. It is quite a pessimistic scenario, because that will mean you will have 2 more years where you have some kind of lockdown, and mobility restrictions, and this will of take a toll on economy,” said Chikiamco.

Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimagiba added: “Kung walang input or information, na galing sa iba-ibang sektor, sektor ng mangagawa, sektor ng negosyante, sektor konsyumer, baka po maging mainculclate ng national leadership na ‘yun na nga ‘yung timeline. Dito po sa , ang nababasa ko, mga kapitbahay nating bansa, baka by the end of the year back to their normal place na sila.”

On Sunday night, February 28, Duterte said that in 2023, the Philippines will recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected many businesses.

For some small business owners, such as Isabel who owns a canteen, it hurts especially since she was forced to people because of the pandemic.

Duterte’s statement that PH will return to normal in 2023 worries experts, businesses

“Parang ang tagal naman, diba may vaccine na ngayon. Eh parang ang ineexpect ko na malipat na, may vaccine na eh,” said Sabio.

This is also the view of Melda Serrano, who owns a small store.

She said they make a living from online sales but the sales force is still not returning compared to before COVID-19 hit.

“Ay, masyado pong mahaba kung ganyan, dapat po by this year ma ano na po, para makaahon ahon ang ekonmiya ng Pilipinas,” said Serrano.

But trade chief Ramon Lopez thinks that the Philippines will have to wait until 2023 for the economy to finally open up.

“I think he’s really refering to ‘yung normal situation that’s like the pre-pandemic. You know, even the mobility of the people, ‘yung walang restriction at all, walang age restriction, et cetera,” said Lopez.