More and more countries are realising that, besides the need to beef up health systems, economic recovery should be driven by fiscal stimulus. Governments ought to actively, strategically spend to make sure that their economies do not collapse while responding to the pandemic.
But it is painfully clear that the Philippine government’s fiscal response is not just wanting in size but also focused on the wrong things.
There is an urgent need to pass Bayanihan 3 that will authorise massive economic aid, specifically cash transfers to the most vulnerable sectors of society, jobs assistance for the unemployed and wage subsidies for small businesses
The Philippines has spent too conservatively relative to the extent of its economic crisis. According to the International Monetary Fund take a look at the site here, last year Singapore dedicated about 18 percent of its GDP to its fiscal response, followed by Thailand (9.6 percent), Malaysia (4.9 percent), Indonesia (3.8 percent) and Vietnam (3.6 percent).