By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — The easing of curfew and transportation restrictions will
benefit the Philippine economy which has received quite a beating from
the effects of the pandemic, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Thursday.
But while Lacson supported the moves that would enhance business
activities and strengthen the economy, he reminded authorities to
maintain containment strategies to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Sinusuportahan namin ang move na magbukas ng ekonomiya, para sa
ganoon medyo sumigla ang ating business activities. Huwag lang
kalimutan ang containment strategy na nakasanayan natin (I support the
moves leading to the reopening of the economy, to revive our business
activities. But our authorities must sustain the containment
strategies in place),” he said at the first LACSON-SOTTO media forum.
“As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time mag-open up tayo, pag-lift
ng curfew at pagtaas ng capacity ng passenger buses, tama ang move na
yan (As far as I’m concerned, it’s about time we opened the economy by
lifting curfews and increasing the capacities for passenger buses),”
Lacson is running for President under Partido Reporma while Senate
President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is running for Vice President under
the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
On the other hand, Lacson said it is equally important that the
government continue its testing, tracing, treatment and vaccination
He said it is important that local government officials roll out
vaccines soonest as some of them have voiced fears that the vaccines
they got may expire in one to three months.
“Importante ang rollout kasi masasayang (It is important to ensure an
efficient rollout of the vaccines so we don’t waste them),” he said.
Citing data from the National Economic and Development Authority,
Lacson said the lockdowns in Metro Manila and elsewhere have caused
P20.5 billion in losses per day – with micro, small and medium
enterprises hit hardest.
Citing data from a study of the ADB Institute, he said MSMEs accounted
for 73 percent of layoffs as of February 2021, while figures from the
Philippine Statistics Authority showed MSMEs – comprising 99.5% of all
enterprises and 63.2% of the labor force – took the first blow last
year due to widespread community lockdowns. (ai/mtvn)