MANILA - A rapid vaccination drive in the second and third quarters will lead to economic recovery by the fourth quarter, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said Thursday.
Arriving vaccines should be used for the vaccination program in the second and third quarters to help micro, small and medium enterprises bounce back, Concepcion said in a statement.
Election spending and the Christmas season can also help recovery, he said.
“With vaccines to start coming in by May onwards, especially in the third quarter, that will bring in a lot of confidence...the last quarter of 2021 which is Christmas, I believe is going to be the chance for many of our MSMEs to get back on their feet. That should be the time that the economy must really be bouncing back," Concepcion said.
"Upon the arrival of the vaccines, people must be vaccinated so that by the fourth quarter, consumer confidence would increase. Then we’ll have spending because of the Christmas season and the elections," he added.
Some 600,000 doses of Sinovac arrived in the country over the weekend while AstraZeneca jabs are expected to arrive on Thursday night.
By May, there could be some 2.6 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines through the "A Dose of Hope" program. The remaining 14 million doses will be delivered in the third quarter, he said.
Increased spending after the inoculation program complements existing stimulus packages such as Bayanihan to Heal as One Act and the CREATE bill meant to lower corporate income tax, he said.
Concepcion also pushed for further easing of restrictions by placing the entire country under modified enhanced community quarantine.
Gross domestic product (GDP) of the country contracted by 9.5 percent in 2020, its worst since the World War 2. It was growing at an average of 6 percent before the coronavirus pandemic.