Senator Christopher “Bong” Go has commended the recovery efforts of the Duterte Administration to the economic challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic after the country reported a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate of 5.6 percent in 2021, beating earlier targets.
“Ang 5.6% GDP growth ng Pilipinas sa buong taon ang isa sa pinakamataas sa buong Southeast Asia, ayon sa datos (A 5.6 percent GDP growth of the Philippines is one of the highest in Southeast Asia). Inaasahan ng mga eksperto na 1-4% lang ang GDP growth ng mga bansa sa rehiyon dahil nga sa kasalukuyang pandemya (Experts had estimated that the country would post a 1-4 percent GDP growth due to the current pandemic),” Go noted.
For the fourth quarter alone, the country recorded a 7.7 percent growth, propelling it ahead of most of its neighbors. As a result, the government is keeping its ambitious target of seven percent to nine percent growth in 2022.
“Since day one ng pandemya, maingat na binabalanse ng gobyerno ang kalusugan at kabuhayan ng mga mamamayan natin (Since day one of the epidemic, the government has carefully balanced the health and livelihood of the people). Kahit may krisis, sinisikap nating maging malakas at maunlad ang ekonomiya upang magkaroon muli ng trabaho ang mga nawalan at maiwasan ang gutom at hirap (Although there is a crisis, we made it sure that the economy is strong and developed so that those who lost their jobs get back their jobs and avoid hunger and poverty),” Go said.
Go, chairman of the Senate Health committee, noted that the country’s strong growth performance was possible due to more businesses reopening. The industry and service sectors grew by 8.2 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively. Private consumption also went up by 4.2 percent.
While welcoming these developments, the senator from Davao warned that the continuous spread of COVID-19 and its highly transmissible variants might still likely disrupt economic activities in the foreseeable future.
He underscored the need to sustain an aggressive vaccination drive to fast-track return to normalcy.
Getting inoculated, Go added, is still the best investment any person can make to protect one’s health.
By being vaccinated, people could reduce their risk of developing severe symptoms of the disease and needing hospitalization, thus lowering their healthcare expenses. They might then continue working and contributing to the economy, he added.
As of January 26, the government has obtained a total of 216.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and administered 125.1 million doses.
Of this figure, 60.1 million Filipinos have received their first dose while 58.1 million are fully vaccinated. Another 6.9 million have obtained their booster shots.