The government needs to provide more fiscal stimulus to support the economy and to give more Filipinos cash assistance amid the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) crisis, said Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM) President Emmanuel Leyco.
Leyco, a former economics professor, said this may cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic – that has driven millions of people out of work and more into poverty and has forced employers to make numerous sacrifices amid restrictions brought by the community quarantine.
The PLM president said the ultra-low interest rate environment created by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is not enough to lift the country’s “consumption-driven” economy.
“What we would like to see is a stimulus that will produce more in the market, more output. Stimulate the manufacturers,” he said in an interview with One News on Wednesday. “Monetary intervention alone is not enough. We need to put more packages for the producers and the consumers to stimulate the market and make it more vibrant.”
“We have to put money in the pockets of our consumers. Right now, unemployment and underemployment are not helping. We need to put more programs that will create jobs or more money in terms of ayuda (cash aid),” he added.
Leyco also raised concern about the rising inflation, saying that the steady pickup in the prices of basic goods in the last four months of 2020 may not be “transitory” as the government’s economic team thinks.
He said more investments and incentives should be given for producers to ensure stable supply, especially for food items.