President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has directed the government departments and offices to adopt the 10-point policy agenda to hasten the recovery of the Philippine economy from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under Executive Order (EO) 166 inked by Duterte on Monday and released yesterday, the adoption of the 10-point policy agenda will help fast-track economic recovery and drive broad-based expansions across various productive sectors, amid the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Economic Development Cluster has recommended the adoption of the 10-Point Policy Agenda to accelerate and sustain the country’s economic recovery,” the EO read. “There is an urgent need to adopt policies on economic recovery to sustain current economic gains, minimize the pandemic’s long-term adverse effects, and restore the country’s development trajectory.”
All government departments, bureaus, offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, are mandated to ensure that all related policies, measures, and programs are aligned with the adopted policy agenda.
They are directed to strengthen healthcare capacity and speed up the COVID-19 vaccination program.
They are also told to further reopen the economy, expand public transport capacity and resume face-to-face learning.
State agencies are likewise instructed to standardize local government units (LGUs) requirements for domestic travel and local tourism, as well as to relax requirements for international travel.
According to the EO, all government departments and offices must also formulate and propose legislation to ensure the implementation of “enhanced and flexible” emergency measures during pandemics.
EO 166 also orders the shift to “more useful and empowering metrics,” taking into consideration the total severe or critical cases, case fatality ratio, and total vaccinations to avoid unnecessary changes in alert levels and encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The national government is also directed to prepare medium-term solutions to ensure the country’s resilience against future pandemics.
Around 10.1 percent of businesses temporarily closed and 0.4 percent permanently ceased operations at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to the data from the National Economic Authority (NEDA).
Key findings of the NEDA found that the COVID-19 pandemic will have long-term adverse effects on consumption and investment, workers’ productivity, and the general wellness of Filipinos.
EO 166 mandates the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 to ensure the proper implementation of the 10-point policy agenda.
The Economic Development Cluster, through the NEDA, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Trade and Industry, shall be consulted prior to the implementation of all anti-coronavirus measures.
The NTF Against COVID-19’s Working Group on Strategic Communications and the Presidential Communications Operations Office shall build public understanding of government initiatives towards adjusting to the new normal and engage the most affected sectors.
The NEDA is directed to monitor the compliance of concerned agencies.*PNA