MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy may suffer gravely if the duration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will be extended in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said a prolonged lockdown may bring negative effects especially since a big chunk of the country’s revenues comes from Metro Manila and Region IV-A.
“Tatapatin ko po kayo, di na po kaya ng ekonomiya ang mas matagalan pang lockdown. Mahirap na mahirap na po ang mangyayari kung magla-lockdown na po tayong muli,” he said.
Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal will be under MECQ until August 18.
Roque said this is the reason why the government only implemented MECQ instead of ECQ to give medical workers a breather amid the rising cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Palace official also admitted that the government is having difficulty in looking for funds to finance the government’s assistance programs for those heavily-hit by the pandemic as a new measure appropriating the funds has yet to be passed in Congress.
“Unfortunately, kinakailangan ng bagong batas para diyan,” he said.
Roque said the Philippine Statistics Authority is expected to release this week the economic date for the second quarter which will show how the public health crisis has been affecting the Philippine economy.
“Lalabas ngayon ang pigura ng second quarter ng GDP growth natin, napakatindi po ng ibinaba ng ating ekonomiya. Kaya nga po ang aming mensahe sa ating taumbayan, kinakailangan po ingatan ang ating kalusugan para po tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)