Economy to get minimal jolt from May 1 quarantine easing: DTI

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 29 2020 12:24 PM

Shoppers wearing face masks line up for market duties in Quezon City in this photo taken on April 13, 2020. The Philippines is looking for ways to restore the public's confidence in the economy, once it restarts under a "new normal" due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- The reopening of some businesses in looser quarantine areas starting on May 1 will have a minimal impact on restarting the broader economy, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

Even though nearly all sectors of the economy will be allowed to reopen in general community quarantine areas, these are located outside metropolitan hubs -- where economic activity is strongest, Lopez said.

"May maitutulong po sa paglago ulit ng ekonomiya pero hindi po sa malaking paraan, not in a big way," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(It can help in growing the economy again but not in a big way.)

Economic activity in the country is strongest in Metro Manila, the Southern Tagalog Region, Central Luzon, Cebu City, and Davao City. All of these areas, however, will remain under enhanced community quarantine until May 15 to slow the spread of the new coronavirus disease.

"Gusto po natin talaga maibalik na yung trabaho but binabalanse po talaga dito sa infection and transmission rate," Lopez said.

(We really want to return to work but we're balancing this with the infection and transmission rates.)