NEDA chief touts Philippines' tools to restart economy

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2020 03:51 PM

Residents line up outside a covered court in Barangay Payatas, Quezon City hoping to receive the cash assistance under the DSWD’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) on May 12, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - The Philippines has "other instruments" to stimulate the economy aside from loans and the national budget, Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said Friday, as the country prepared for further easing of pandemic lockdowns.

Chua referred to monetary policy, the grant of regulatory relief and the country's savings and cash positions, which can be used to revive consumers and businesses.

"We can borrow and we have a very good credit rating and we can use that to our advantage and we will continue to do that. However, let’s not forget there are other instruments that have bigger impact," Chua told ANC.

"All of these should be used together, let’s not just focus on one instrument which is the GAA or the national budget and forget the other instruments," he added.

Almost 85 percent of families in the country are" being helped in some ways" by the P205 billion cash aid program for poor families, the P51 billion wage subsidy launched by the government and continuing salary payments in the public and private sectors, he said. 

The government is working with the Congress for a stimulus package that will boost consumer spending and business confidence, he said.