Malacañang is hoping that the “Ber” months or months of the year ending in the “-ber” syllable will help boost the economy after it suffered a major downfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement as the government rolls out the third phase of the National Action Plan against COVID-19 which entails the reopening of the economy while balancing it with health.
In his Thursday presser, Roque said that the last quarter of the year may help boost the economy because this is the time where people go out to do some retail shopping.
“Alam niyo po pagpasok ng ‘Ber’ months, ito po, traditionally, ang pinakamalakas pagdating sa retail (You know, the ‘Ber’ months, traditionally, is the strongest when it comes to retail),” he said.
“So sana po itong buwan ng October, November, December, we can somehow catch up nang hindi naman po ganoon kalaki ang contraction ng ating ekonomiya (So I hope that during the last quarter, we can somehow catch up so that our economy will not suffer so much),” he added.
Roque said that the government is reopening the economy even more to give it the maximum opportunity to bounce back, especially after the forecast of the Asian Development Bank that the Philippine economy may suffer the worst in Southeast Asia due to the pandemic.
“So inaasahan po natin na nagbubukas tayo ng sapat para magkaroon ng maximum opportunity ang merkado na makabawi doon sa napakalalim po na pagbaba ng ating ekonomiya (We expect to open just enough to give the market the maximum opportunity to bounce back),” he said.
“Sabi nga ng isang bangko (As one bak said), we will suffer the worst contraction in the whole of Southeast Asia kaya humahabol po tayo (that’s why we are trying to catch up),” he added.
The Palace official reminded the public to follow minimum health protocols like the wearing of face masks and face shields, physical distancing, and proper handwashing.
“Kaya po nating gawin ito, pangalagaan lang natin ang ating buhay para tayo ay makapag-hanapbuhay (We can do this. Let’s just take care of ourselves so we can work),” Roque said.
Last month, the ADB said it sees the Philippine economy posting a deeper contraction of 7.3 percent this year, lower than its previous forecast in June which was 3.8 percent.