Quick rebound from Omicron surge keyed first quarter growth: economic managers
A quick rebound from the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant helped the Philippine economy to grow at 8.3 percent in the first quarter, the country's economic managers said in a joint statement on Thursday.
''Our quick rebound from the Omicron surge in January proved that we can live and deal with the virus. With our strengthened healthcare capacity and accelerated vaccination program, we were able to contain the surge and safely reopen the economy,'' they said.
''We have surpassed the pre-pandemic gross domestic product level,'' they added.
By February 1, the Philippines shifted economic centers from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2. ''By the end of March, around 70 percent of the economy was placed in Alert Level 1,'' the economic managers said.
'' The quick turnaround in the first quarter shows that we can win both the economic and health battles,'' they said.
Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is leading the partial and unofficial count for the presidency by a big margin over Vice President Leni Robredo, will be at the helm of the country by June 30.
But the economic managers say that a ''significant piece'' missing in the recovery momentum to attain the 7-9 percent target for 2022 is resuming face-to-face schooling,
''More than the foregone economic activity due to school closures, we are very much concerned about the learning loss and the impact on future productivity of our children,'' they said.
''We reiterate our call for the urgent resumption of face-to-face schooling plus a catch-up plan to regain lost learning in the last two years. This will help secure better opportunities for future generations and ensure that our demographic dividends will not be wasted,'' the economic managers said. DMS