‘More integrated’ approach to COVID-19 to help boost PH economic recovery — Moody's Analytics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 2) — A global think tank says the Philippines is starting to adopt a “more integrated” approach to addressing the pandemic’s economic impact, adding it could give a lockdown-stricken economy much needed help.

In a recent report, Moody’s Analytics cited the government’s acquisition of more COVID-19 vaccine doses and plan to open inoculation to the general public by October.

“This should slow the pace of COVID-19 and, it is hoped, reduce the severity of infections, at least among those vaccinated,” said the US-based firm.

Moody’s Analytics also noted the proposal to transition from wider community quarantine restrictions to granular lockdowns.

The country’s pandemic response task force and its panel of experts are currently studying this more localized approach, which involves local governments further strengthening case detection measures. 

This proposal “offers the potential of allowing greater access to shopping and other economic activities and boosting the pace of economic recovery,” said Moody’s Analytics.

Moody’s Analytics likewise noted another proposal of “preferred access” in shopping malls and restaurants for fully vaccinated people upon presentation of proof of inoculation.

However, some government agencies have voiced their reservations about the proposal, citing concerns over possibly disenfranchising the unvaccinated while supply shortages bar people from getting their shots.

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“This will generate greater mobility for those vaccinated, which will help bolster economic growth as the vaccination rate rises. It does, however, run the risk of marginalizing those not vaccinated,” added Moody’s Analytics.

Nearly 14 million Filipinos have completed both COVID-19 doses as of end-August. The government has set a target of inoculating 77 million Filipinos, or 70% of the country's 109-million population, to achieve herd immunity by year-end.

Moody’s Analytics projects the national economy will only grow by 4% in 2021, noting growth “remains relatively weak.”

“This new integrated approach creates some upside potential to the pace of recovery but mostly for 2022, since most of this policy shift will not begin until this year’s final quarter,” it stressed.