Amid economic losses, NEDA backs extended GCQ

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    The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has expressed support for the President’s decision to defer the shift to a more relaxed quarantine measure, even as it runs against the agency’s earlier recommendation.

    Karl Kendrick Chua, NEDA acting secretary, earlier warned in the National Capital Region and adjacent regions, every day of general community quarantine (GCQ) is equivalent to P700 million in wages, salaries, and other income lost

    “NEDA supports the recent decision of the President not to shift to MGCQ (modified general community quarantine),” said in a message sent by the agency to reporters via Viber yesterday.

    “The whole of government will work hard, in cooperation with various sectors, to roll out the vaccine so that we can further open the economy,” he added.

    The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases had recommended placing the whole country under MGCQ starting next month, including areas that are currently under GCQ like Metro Manila after the same was endorsed by the Metro Manila Council.

    NEDA was the first to propose last week the placing of all provinces nationwide under MGCQ to further open up the economy and boost public expenditure.

    However, President Duterte thumbed down the proposal to shift to MGCQ unless the coronavirus disease 2019 vaccines have been rolled out, Malacanang said.

    Chua was asked via text message by Malaya Business Insight how the President’s decision will affect the country’s growth prospects and if there is a need to review growth targets amid said developments, but he has yet to respond as of press time.