The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said Thursday the Philippines would likely remain under community quarantine until the end of 2021.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said in a virtual briefing that as per the recent macroeconomic forecasts, the quarantines would only be fully lifted by 2022.
“The projection for next year assumes that we will have a modified GCQ [general community quarantine] or a relaxed version of that for the rest of the year because clearly, we cannot go back to normal life without the vaccine,” he told reporters.
“In 2022, because of the news that a vaccine will be available this year and widely available towards the end of next year, we will likely see a lifting of all the quarantines fully by 2022,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday announced that Metro Manila and other key areas would remain under the general community quarantine (GCQ) while the rest of the country would be under modified GCQ.
NEDA projects quarantines fully lifted by 2022
The decision came after a discussion of the inter-agency Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC), where they revealed new macroeconomic assumptions, with a wider economic contraction of 8.5% to 9.5% expected this year.
Next year, the DBCC expects growth to recover to 6.5 to 7.5% and to climb even further to 8% to 10% in 2022.
“As shown by the third-quarter GDP, our economy gradually bounced back and experienced a smaller contraction of 11.5 percent in the third quarter from 16.9 percent in the second quarter. On a quarter-to-quarter, seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew by 8 percent in the third quarter,” the DBCC said in a separate statement.
“We are also expecting further improvement in our fourth-quarter GDP numbers. As we carefully and proactively manage the risks, a strong economic recovery and solid growth remains within our reach,” it added.
Chua added the government is hoping its ambitious infrastructure spending program would spur growth moving forward. P900 billion would be spent this year, followed by P1.16 trillion next year, and another P1.15 trillion in 2022.