Palace offers ‘Recharge PH’ recovery plan, as more Pinoys share grim life view

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 14 2020 04:57 PM

Locally-stranded individuals rest on hammocks inside the North Port Passenger Terminal on August 9, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA—President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will employ a “whole-of-society program” to help the country recover from the coronavirus pandemic, Malacañang said Friday, expressing concern about the grim view of most Filipinos on their quality of life.

Dubbed Recharge PH, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government’s pandemic recovery plan would be implemented until next year, and would also be included in the country’s development plan from 2017 to 2022.

The plan “seeks to refocus, sharpen the design, and accelerate the implementation of programs under the 2020 General Appropriations,” Roque said.

Besides this, Roque said the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program is also offering jobs to Filipinos who have lost their sources of income.

“We are guided by ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay as we resolve to recover gradually,” he added.

Duterte earlier used the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, which granted him additional powers such as the authority to realign the budget, to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After the law expired, the Palace said it is banking on the follow-up economic stimulus bill Bayanihan to Recover as One Act to restart the economy, which shrank by 16.5 percent in the second quarter, plunging the country into a recession again in nearly 30 years.

The bill hasn’t been signed into law, as Congress has yet to pass the measure to Duterte.

Malacañang floated the Recharge PH plan, noting the results of a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that showed how most Filipinos believe their quality of life worsened in the last 12 months was a “cause of concern.”

Some 79 percent of adult Filipinos said their quality of life got worse, the poll found. They were classified by the SWS as “losers.” The quality of life is also “catastrophic” or a score of -50 and below across the country, according to survey results.

“The coronavirus has indeed adversely affected our economy and people’s livelihood and business,” Roque said.

The SWS survey showed that the sentiment of worse quality of life was highest among families who experienced involuntary hunger, who received financial assistance from the government and junior high school graduates including those obtaining vocational education.