Duterte admits PH economy ‘in bad shape’

Published February 1, 2021, 10:55 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

The local economy is “in bad shape”, but the government is trying its best to keep the country afloat, President Duterte declared Monday night.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on  February 1, 2021. ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

In a televised address, the President admitted that the country was “sinking deeper and deeper”, and the ongoing pandemic has been costing the economy P2 billion every day.

Authorities earlier reported that domestic economy recorded its worst contraction at 9.5 percent in 2020 after the pandemic crippled businesses, weakened domestic consumption, and caused unemployment. 

“The economy of the Philippines is really in bad shape but as I said it is not only the Philippines who suffers. We in the world is suffering with everybody,” Duterte said in his remarks aired on state television.

“We are sinking deeper and deeper pero hindi lang tayo. Lahat. (but it is not just us. It’s everyone) pero (but) we are trying our very best to keep us afloat,” he added.
Duterte told the nation the economy was actually performing “good” before the pandemic hit last year. But when the health emergency broke out, he said the economy of the Philippines and other countries were weakened. Business operations and public transportation were also affected by the pandemic. Many people also lost their jobs, according to the President. 

“Lahat ng bayan ng buong mundo bagsak. Talagang bagsak. Tayo maganda na sana noong hindi dumating COVID. We were doing fine. Hindi naman very good. We are doing good. Tapos dumating ang COVID, walang kita (All countries of the world have fallen. We were doing fine before COVID. Not very good, but we are doing good. Then when COVID arrived, there were no revenues),” he said.

“According to the Secretary of Finance, araw araw ngayon hanggang matapos ang COVID. Araw-araw (everyday) we are losing P2 billion na pera para sana ‘yun sa mga tao, the Filipino workers who would have earned that money kung ekonomiya natin gumagalaw,” he said.

Duterte, however, appealed to the public not to lose hope, citing the government’s procurement of vaccine supplies to combat the illness. 

He also asked the public to “keep faith” in the government and let it push through with the vaccination program. If there is any anomaly in the vaccination program, he assured the nation that there would be accountability at the end of the day.

“Huwag masyado ninyong idiin ang bayan ninyo na talagang pobre… Nabubuhay pa naman tayo. (Do not tear down our country for being poor.. We are still alive) Let us just hope for the best,” he said.