Gov't banks on 'ber' months to ease economic woes


Posted at Oct 15 2020 04:19 PM

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The government hopes that retail spending in the last quarter of the year can boost the pandemic-battered economy, Malacañang said Thursday. 

"Pagpasok ng 'ber' months, ito po traditionally ang pinakamalakas pagdating sa retail so inaasahan po natin na magbubukas tayo nang sapat para magkaroon po ng maximum opportunity ang merkado na makabawi," said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. 

(The ber months traditionally is the strongest for the retail sector so we expect that we will open up the economy enough and that there will be a maximum opportunity for the markets to recover.)

"Sana po itong October, November, December we can somehow catch up nang hindi naman po ganoon kalaki ang maging contraction ng ating ekonomiya," he told reporters. 

(We hope that this October, November, December we can somehow catch up so that our economic contraction will not be that big.)

 The Philippines is forecast to see a 6.9 percent economic contraction this year, the World Bank has said, the biggest since the 1980s and worse than the government's projected 5.5 percent decline.

Its recovery has been constrained by an unrelenting first wave of infections since March, with more than 340,000 cases, Southeast Asia's highest number, limiting its ability to fully reopen businesses, and restart domestic and international tourism. 

The government recently reopened Boracay island to tourists from Metro Manila and elsewhere in the country. It will also urge local governments to shorten curfew hours and will implement a "one-seat-apart" rule in public vehicles to increase their capacity. - With a report from Reuters