(DP 2020-02) A Philippine Social Protection and Economic Recovery Plan
The world is facing its biggest public health crisis in a century. Managing this crisis requires an intentional contraction of the economy of unprecedented proportions. This deliberate and unavoidable drawdown in market activity will put businesses at risk of destruction, with hundreds of thousands of Filipinos likely to lose their source of livelihood. Many households will be plunged into poverty. Without assistance, those who are already poor will find themselves at the literal threshold of life and death as they battle both the virus that is ravaging their health and well-being, and the economic hardship that will almost certainly exact a social--if not physical--death.
The government must act quickly to ensure that businesses can survive, jobs are secure, and the most vulnerable members of society are protected. The message must be decisive and formidable: "We will not let businesses fail, and we will not let people go hungry--whatever it takes."
Our plan begins with recognizing that the economic contraction is immediate and sharp--but temporary. There will be a real output loss in the economy, but this is necessary to contain the spread of the virus. The objective is to alleviate the economic, social, and psychological hardships caused by the reduction in economic activity and to minimize any permanent damage to the economy. Doing this will involve providing emergency financial and nonfinancial aid to the most vulnerable households, guaranteeing continuity for businesses and maintaining the employment of their workers, and creating an economic environment which will allow the economy to recover quickly and continue on a growth trajectory when the public health crisis eventually wanes.
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