Bangko Sentral to remain 'accommodative' despite Omicron variant: Diokno

Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 02 2021 04:17 PM | Updated as of Dec 02 2021 08:58 PM

Shoppers go around the Divisoria market in Manila on Sunday, November 14, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File
Shoppers go around the Divisoria market in Manila on Sunday, November 14, 2021. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- The Monetary Board is keen on keeping its "accommodative" stance to support economic recovery despite the emergence of the new Omicron COVID-19 variant, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said Thursday.

Business organizations and fund managers have been monitoring the impact of Omicron, with some forecasting that the new variant would push the economic recovery of the Philippines to pre-COVID levels all the way to 2023. 

The Philippine economy contracted by 9.6 percent in 2020, its lowest since the end of World War 2, due to the pandemic. 

It has been gradually recovering with a growth of 7.1 percent in the third quarter of 2021. 

In a virtual briefing, Diokno reiterated the central bank's firm stand on keeping the current monetary policy position.

"We will continue our accommodative monetary policy. We are not so concerned with the new virus, new variant. There is too much exaggeration on the impact of that," Diokno said.

The Monetary Board will hold its last policy-setting meeting for the year this month.

Diokno said the best shield is to vaccinate the people against the disease.

The Philippines has an ongoing mass vaccination campaign meant to boost its inoculation target of 70 percent of the population by the end of the year.

As of Dec. 1, over 36.8 million have been vaccinated.

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