Easing int'l travel restrictions to sustain economic growth: presidential adviser

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2022 03:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2022 04:35 PM

MANILA - The easing of international travel restrictions for inbound passengers will help sustain the economy's growth momentum, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said Friday. 

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Friday announced it would no longer require facility-based quarantine for fully-vaccinated international travelers and returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). 

Meanwhile, the Department of Tourism said the country would also allow the entry of fully-vaccinated tourists from countries whose nationals have visa-free entry privileges to the Philippines. 

“This will definitely help the economy and sustain the growth we experienced in the fourth quarter of 2021,” Concepcion said in a statement.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 5.6 percent in 2021, exceeding the government's 5 to 5.5 percent target range. 

The upward trajectory can be sustained with the "revival" of the country's tourism industry, Concepcion said. 

“We can now welcome both leisure and business travelers, and this will redound to benefits downstream for our MSMEs,” he said.

These initiatives are also in line with the proposal to shift to endemic from a pandemic mindset, he said. 

Although the recent surge in omicron variant prompted the authorities to raise the restrictions to Alert Level 3, it is seen to only have a "minor impact" on the full year economic prospects, economists have said. 

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said the economy is recovering and that GDP growth is likely to return to its pre-pandemic level this year.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the economy has been growing at an average of 6 percent. 

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