Economist: The private sector can accelerate economic recovery
The Philippines won’t need to wait 10 years to regain its pre-pandemic economic status, as that can be shortened to three to four years, an economist said on Thursday, September 30, 2021.
But to meet the shortened recovery schedule, the private sector will need to step up its activities, said economist Ronilo Balbieran, vice chairman of the Research, Education and Institutional Development Foundation think tank.
“Due to the pandemic, our level of income per person per year has been reduced to four years. In the current pace of our economic activities, which is very slow, it is not difficult to imagine that we will return to the level of 2019 in 10 years. But that doesn’t mean we just have to wait 10 years, ”Balbieran said at the one-day virtual Mandaue Business Summit hosted by the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Balbieran believes that the rapid recovery of the country’s economy will depend heavily on the private sector as it represents 85% of the economy, including investors.
“It’s our decision. Do we accept this slow motion or do we agree now that we are going to put our actions together? That we will take advantage of these revenues from electronic commerce, infrastructure and local governments and shorten this projection over 10 years, ”he stressed.
Balbieran is convinced that it is “very possible to shorten it to three or four years”.
“I think if you’re ready for the push for the next two years, then we can shorten the 10 years. This is my challenge (to the corporate sector), ”he said.
“We have the resources because Filipinos are the brightest, toughest, most creative and craziest entrepreneurs in the world. We will find a way to jumpstart our economy and shorten it, ”Balbieran said. “It’s very possible and the raw materials are there.”
The economist said the Philippines has the fundamentals like money, people and spirit to bounce back stronger and even better (faster and more inclusive in all regions), with transformed economic structures.
He added that the country and the Filipinos are equipped for global economic leadership especially in e-commerce due to the large, young and ever-growing population who are heavy internet users.
Accelerating the digital transformation journey of agribusiness, transport and logistics, e-commerce, education and health will also boost economic activities and opportunities.
Balbieran also added that the government will direct spending, especially for transport, logistics and internet infrastructure and facilities. The upcoming national elections in 2022 are also expected to accelerate spending.
Cost of the pandemic
Earlier, Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the estimated total long-term cost of the Covid-19 pandemic and quarantines for present and future generations of Filipinos is estimated at 41.4 trillion. of pesos.
“Over the past six months, Neda, with the help of our development partners and related agencies, has estimated the total cost of Covid-19 and quarantines. Current and future costs are estimated at 41.4 trillion pesos in terms of net present value. Broken down, in 2020 we lost 4.3 trillion pesos; over the next 10 to 40 years, we estimate that we will lose up to 37 trillion pesos, ”Chua said in a statement.
Further, the Neda chief said: “We expect the economy to converge on the pre-pandemic growth path by the 10th year. While we will return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022 or early 2023, it will be several more years before we converge on our original growth path. ” (KOC)