MANILA – Strengthening of measures to ensure the government’s health care capability against the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 and the continued reopening of the economy should be among the priorities of the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
In a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday, former Department of Finance (DOF) secretary Roberto de Ocampo said these two measures are almost neck-to-neck in terms of importance and the focus of the government.
Among others, he said, the need to further reopen the economy, including the schools, is a must “to further help the economy move forward.”
The education department recently released the calendar for the incoming school year that will start on August 22, with full in-person classes set to start on November 2.
De Ocampo also underscored the need to address the impact of higher oil prices to deal with rising commodity prices.
“Mag-a-announce siya (the President) ng iba’t ibang mga hakbang ng administrasyon upang lalong matulungan ang pinakamahihirap sa ating bansa para hindi naman sila masyadong maapektuhan at mabigyan sila ng tulong ng gobyerno habang mayroon tayong sitwasyon na ganito (He will announce various measures to further help the poor and give them government aid in this current situation),” he said.
De Ocampo likewise highlighted the need to further implement several reform measures amended during the previous administration.
These include the tax reform for acceleration and inclusion (TRAIN) law and the Public Service Act, which would help boost government revenues.
He said tapping the private sector for help in carrying out various infrastructure projects is also a plus for the economy to push for improvements in the business sector, such as in the manufacturing sector.
He said public finance was put in a challenging position because of the pandemic and if the government intends to strengthen its programs on infrastructure and social services, among others, it would be beneficial to ask the private sector to pitch in. (PNA)