MANILA - The Philippines can expect a further easing of restrictions and more economic activities as the government continues to roll out its vaccination program.
Front liners are being inoculated since Monday, following the arrival of 600,000 doses of China-donated Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines.
By 2023, it is expected that many have been vaccinated, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said, reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte's statement saying that the country may see some sense of normalcy in 2023.
"I would assume that the President was referring to that kind of scenario na talagang, kasi parang at that time (2023) ang estimate mas marami nang na-vaccine (totally, in 2023 the estimate is that more people have been vaccinated)," Lopez told ABS-CBN News.
"Following 'yung policy pronouncements ng ating Pangulo, pag na-rollout na 'yung vaccing program, pwede na nating asahan 'yung unti-unting pagluluwag, let's say, sa community quarantine and maybe down the road pati 'yung mga age restrictions," he added.
(Following the policy pronouncement of the President, once the vaccine program rolls out, we can expect the gradual easing, let's say in community quarantine and down the road, even age restrictions)
Lopez also said the government is confident that the economy could start seeing positive growth this year. Once "Priority A" or health workers and other front liners received their vaccines, economic front liners would also be inoculated, he added.
The arrival of China's Sinovac jabs has also increased consumer confidence, he said.
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua earlier said the economy could see a positive growth starting in the second quarter despite a slow first quarter.