Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday expressed confidence that the government’s mass vaccination program will yield a “positive” impact on the Philippine economy.
“Inaasahan po natin na pagdating ng mga bakuna natin, eh meron itong positibong impact na tinatawag sa ating pangkalakalan o ating ekonomiya (We expect that there will be positive impact on our economy, once the vaccines arrive in the country),” Panelo said during his commentary show “Counterpoint.”
Panelo issued the statement a day after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said President Rodrigo Roa Duterte expressed “concerned” over the current state of the country’s economy which suffered contraction due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
Once the government starts its free immunization drive, Filipinos will have the confidence to resume more economic activities, Panelo said.
“‘Pag yung consumers natin, pag nabakunahan na, medyo kumpiyansado ka na, may tiwala ka nang lumabas dahil syempre, nabakunahan ka na (Our consumers, once vaccinated, will be confident to go out),” he said.
Acknowledging that the Philippine economy is “sinking deeper and deeper,” Duterte vowed on Feb. 1 to keep it afloat.
The country’s economic team sees a possible rebound of the economy this year as the government targets to launch its mass vaccination program this month.
In an interview with state-run PTV-4, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the vaccination program would be a “big help” to revive the economy.
“Syempre malaking tulong iyan (Of course, it would be a big help),” Nograles said. “After the vaccination, mas magkakaroon ng (there will be confidence to move goods and people.”
On Monday, Roque said the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines from drugmakers Pfizer-BioNtech and AstraZeneca secured through the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access facility would arrive in mid-February.
Roque added that the Duterte government is ready to begin its Covid-19 inoculation drive by Feb. 15.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. earlier said around 117,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer will be the first to arrive in the country and will be delivered in one tranche.
The delivery of Pfizer vaccines would be followed by the arrival of some 5,500,000 to 9,290,400 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine in the first and second quarter of this year, Galvez said.