2021 Yearstarter: Solving the pandemic crisis

February 21, 2021

by IBON Foundation

The Duterte administration is responsible for the biggest recorded economic collapse in the country’s history in 2020. This was due to the government’s excessive lockdowns and community quarantines which, apart from falling to contain the pandemic, were aggravated by the lack of any real economic stimulus.

The result is the country’s having among the worst health and economic outcomes in the region. The pandemic continues to spread and the Philippines is consistently in the top three countries with the most active cases and, per million population, the most cases and deaths from COVID-19.

In terms of economic growth, the Philippines has the worst performing economy in ASEAN and is set to have the worst performing to as far away as South Asia and the rest of East Asia.

The government meanwhile appears indifferent to the adverse economic impact weighing most heavily on the poor and low-income households who make up the majority of the population. Respectable emergency relief at the start of the lockdowns has dwindled to token levels even as corporations are supported with income tax cuts, cheap credit, and infrastructure projects.

Erratum: In this briefing paper, the first paragraph on page 25 should read: “This sums to a universe of at least Php2.9 trillion in funds from which realignments can be made, Php1 trillion in emergency bonds and other government securities, Php391.9 billion in immediate revenues from progressive taxes, and at least Php333 billion more from a land value tax.” The version originally posted said “Php3.9 trillion” instead of “Php2.9 trillion”. We are sorry for the confusion.