Malacañang is elated by the drop in the country’s inflation and unemployment rate as the government has gradually eased lockdowns to help revitalize the economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque welcomed the slowing down of inflation to 2.3 percent in September from 2.4 percent in August.
The downtrend consumer price index has been attributed by authorities to lower prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
“Siyempre po nagagalak ang Palasyo at hindi po masyado tumaas ang mga presyo ng ating mga bilihin (Of course, the Palace is happy that prices of consumer goods did not go higher). We’re thankful for that,” Roque said during a televised press briefing Tuesday.
Roque also lauded that the number of unemployed in the country is also getting lower amid efforts to reopen the economy.
Citing government data, he said the country’s unemployment rate has dropped to 10 percent or around 4.6 million Filipinos in July, from the record-high of 17.7 percent or 7.3 million people in April.
A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed that the unemployment number has eased to 39.5 in September, from 45.5 percent in July.
“Nagagalak po kami na habang binubuksan na natin ang ekonomiya, bumababa po iyong mga nawawalan ng trabaho. Pero determinado po ang administrasyong Duterte na buksan pa ang ekonomiya para magkaroon nang mas maraming trabaho ang lahat (We are glad that while we open the economy, the unemployment rate has dropped. The administration is determined to further open up the economy to generate more jobs for all),” he added.
President Duterte is set to meet with the Cabinet next Monday to tackle efforts to further open up the economy and address concerns on rising hunger and child malnutrition.
The issue on whether or not to ease the one-meter physical distance applied in public transportation will also be discussed in the next Cabinet meeting, according to Roque.
From a strict lockdown in March, the government has gradually relaxed the quarantine measures while stepping up efforts to test, trace, and treat patients with the coronavirus.
The relaxed lockdowns are meant to jumpstart the sluggish economy and allow more people to get back to work.