TACLOBAN CITY – The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) regional office here remains optimistic about economic recovery in Eastern Visayas this year despite the ongoing global health crisis.
The intensified vaccination drive and several government’s intervention to improve the delivery of services are expected to somehow revive the economy amid the extraordinary challenges, NEDA Eastern Visayas Regional Director Bonifacio Uy said in a statement Monday.
“The vaccination deployment will lead to the reopening of more businesses and the relaxation of age group restrictions. This will redound to added economic activities and save more jobs to provide income for our people,” he said.
The Philippine Identification System (PhilSys), a project led by the Philippine Statistics Authority, is expected to improve access and delivery of public and private services, as well as enhance the country’s digital economy.
To date, at least 841,087 persons in Eastern Visayas went through step 1 registration involving the collection of demographic data, while 342,464 individuals finished step 2 involving validation of supporting documents and capturing of biometric data, according to NEDA.
“Still, much needs to be done to improve the unstable internet connectivity in the region, this being the backbone of digital infrastructure. The government also highlighted the need for reskilling and retooling especially on the digital adeptness of the workforce,” Uy added.
To proactively balance and manage economic activities, Uy recommended for a more intensified implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and recover (PDITR) strategy as this was effective in bringing the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases down to 2,000 a day between August 2020 to February 2021 nationwide.
“Continuous improvement of the regional healthcare system must be made to address the existing gaps and those brought about by the ongoing pandemic. Programs, projects, and regulations that would hasten the digital transformation of businesses and government towards the new normal is likewise imperative,” he added.
In 2020, Eastern Visayas’ economy dropped by 7.6 percent, a steep decline from the previous year’s growth as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the region’s economic activities.
As of May 3, the region recorded 18,223 confirmed Covid-19 cases, including 17,423 recoveries and 278 deaths. This brings the total active cases to 522.
Signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte in August 2018, Republic Act 11055, or the Philippine Identification System Act, aims to establish a single national ID for all Filipinos and resident aliens.
The national ID shall be a valid proof of identity that shall be a means of simplifying public and private transactions, enrollment in schools, and the opening of bank accounts.
It will also boost efficiency, especially in dealing with government services where people will only need to present one ID during transactions. (PNA)