Sen. Joel Villanueva
By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Joel Villanueva on Thursday said that the government should be prodded by the 9.5% contraction in gross domestic product (GDP) to rollout the vaccination program against COVID-19.
In a statement given to reporters, Villanueva said the vaccination program remains the biggest economic stimulus. A vaccine is the powerful shot-in-the-arm that will inject consumer confidence into the economy and jolt it back to life.
“Our full-year GDP contraction of 9.5% in 2020 as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority today should prod our government to further accelerate the vaccine rollout,” Villanueva said.
He believed that the sooner workers get vaccinated, the earlier our economic recovery will be.
“We reiterate our call that essential workers, outside of those in the health and security sectors, be included in the priority list of those who will receive it first,”he said.
The chairman of the Senate committee on labor and employment said that when workplaces are made safe, the single biggest hindrance to ramping up productivity is removed.
“Kasama na rin po dito ang pampublikong transportasyon. Kung may mga kababayan tayong nangangamba na si Covid ay nakaangkas or nakasabit, patuloy pong mababalot sa takot ang mga manggagawa at mga mamimili na lumabas,” he said.
“Babangon po ang ekonomiya kung may bakuna. Ang bakunang itinuturok po ang pinakamabisang ayuda,” he added. (FC/MTVN)