Economic recovery in Philippines hinges on kids leaving lockdown

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By: Business World

“A big part of the economy doesn’t function” when children aren’t allowed out, Economic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said last month. The 11.5% drop in gross domestic product in the third quarter could have been shallower by 4 percentage points if there were no restrictions on family activities, he said. The government forecasts growth at 6.5% to 7.5% this year.

[READ: Economy opens up slowly, surely]

Half of consumer demand isn’t likely to return if the restrictions on minors remain, Chua said. Parents are also the largest contributors to the nation’s 574 billion-peso ($11.9 billion) informal dine-out market, including fastfood restaurants, he added.

Efforts by President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration to balance health and economic risks have been challenged by the emergence of a more-contagious strain of the coronavirus. His office late Monday reversed a decision announced only on Friday to lower the age restrictions, reinstating an order preventing children under 15 from leaving home. Duterte said the move was a precaution against the new variant and “that order will subsist until such time that everybody will be safe by the vaccine.”


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