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NOGRALES: ECONOMIC GAINS OF DUTERTE ADMIN TO HELP PH OVERCOME COVID-19 IMPACT

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles reiterated that the economic gains made by the Duterte Administration in its first three years will help the Philippines survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that there are already signs that the country is on the road to recovery.

In his opening remarks at the second Pre-State of the Nation Address (SONA) forum organized by the government, Nograles said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez summed up the challenges faced by the country when he said during the first Pre-SONA forum that the COVID-19 health emergency “is perhaps the toughest economic crisis most of our people will live through.”

“The President and your government have long laid the groundwork for the economic recovery of our country.”

“Tunay ngang nasa gitna tayo ng isang kalagayang mahirap at walang katiyakan at, dala na ng pandemyang ito, tinamaan ng husto ang ating ekonomiya. Wala ni isang bansa sa mundo ang nakapaghanda ng husto sa pananalasa nito,” lamented Nograles. 

According to the Palace official: “Araw-araw nilalabas ng ating Department of Health ang mga numero; these numbers remind us that we are in the midst of a battle that is claiming lives and taking its toll on the health of our people; they emphasize that we face an invisible enemy that has far-reaching consequences on the lives and livelihoods of every Filipino man, woman, and child.”

Citing data provided by the DOF, Nograles said government revenues had been affected by the pandemic, with estimated tax collections from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs 16% lower than last year during the same period, while unemployment in the country was at 17.7% in April.

Nograles pointed out that while the economy had taken a hit, “the President and your government have long laid the groundwork for the economic recovery of our country.”

“Ika nga ni Sec. Dominguez, in previous years, emergency spending and urgent borrowing might have been very difficult but the economic performance of the Duterte Administration prior to the pandemic, together with its approach to fiscal and economic management, made the country one of the strongest, most resilient, and credit-worthy economies in the region,” explained Nograles.

“Even amidst the pandemic, international credit rating agencies have affirmed our sovereign ratings.”

“Mga kababayan, hirap man tayo ngayon, may mga senyales din na lumalaban at bumabangon ang ekonomiya. Tumaas po ng 4.4% ang koleksyon ng Customs––evidence of increasing economic activity,” said the former lawmaker from Davao.

“Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the country received a BBB plus credit rating, the highest in our country’s history, and even amidst the pandemic, international credit rating agencies have affirmed our sovereign ratings and have kept them at investment grade levels.”

Just last month, Nograles added, “tinaas pa nga ng Japan Credit Rating Agency ang credit rating natin from BBB plus to A minus. Sec. Dominguez said it best: this is a vote of confidence in a sea of credit rating downgrades and negative outlook revisions worldwide.”

A total of three Pre-SONA activities will be held by the government. The objectives of the forums are: (1) to provide the data, figures, and the details that will contribute to a better understanding of the messages the President will deliver in his SONA on July 27; (2) to provide an extensive report on what the President has accomplished through the departments and agencies of government; and (3) to provide the public with the opportunity to raise their concerns directly to the President, through his counterparts in the Cabinet.

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