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Better Christmas ahead: DTI chief

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said Filipinos will have a better Christmas season this year than 2020 with the easing of restrictions and increasing vaccination rate.

In an interview with Radyo Pilipinas yesterday, Lopez said economic activities are much better this year compared to the country’s first Christmas season in a coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

He said as more Filipinos get vaccinated against COVID-19, consumer and business confidence also increases.

“Workers are confident, entrepreneurs are confident in reopening their businesses, and many are able to go back to their jobs. Since they now have the income, we can see stronger growth ahead,” he added in Filipino.

The DTI chief said economic growth is expected to continue its upward trend for the last two quarters after posting an 11.8-percent growth in the second quarter of the year.

The economy this year may not yet be back at pre-pandemic level, but Lopez said this will be better than last year.

“As long as there is (a) reopening of the economy, jobs, and spending, we can see this growth to continue,” Lopez said.

Starting October 16, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) placed Metro Manila in a less strict alert level system from Alert Level 4 to Level 3.

The IATF has also rolled out the alert level system in 14 provinces and five cities across the country.

Lopez said the agency and the private sector are hoping for more reopening of sectors as Christmas season approaches.*PNA

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