Speaker: End of global emergency to sustain PH economy

The lifting of the Covid-19 emergency declaration by the World Health Organization (WHO) will reopen more economic opportunities that could lead to the country’s sustained growth, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said on Sunday. The Speaker welcomed the pronouncement by WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday that the global health emergency, which was declared on Jan, 30, 2020, has been officially lifted. ‘The decision shows that countries around the globe, including the Philippines, have succeeded through a collaborative effort in fighting the highly infectious novel coronavirus and its variants, though they remain a threat to public health,’ Romualdez said in a news release. The WHO declaration should pave the way for the Philippines to sustain economic growth or even take the economy to a higher growth path, he added. The lifting would translate to increased mobility, more economic activities and therefore additional job and income opportunities for workers and their families, according to Romualdez. He said the lifting of travel restrictions would also mean more tourists visiting the Philippines. ‘Let the concerned government agencies and sectors of the economy prepare for this possibility, which will benefit tourist destinations and local communities,’ he said. But Romualdez maintained that the public should not be complacent and always observe the minimum health requirements – wearing face masks when necessary, regularly washing of hands, isolating when sick, getting vaccinated, and keeping physical distancing – to avoid being infected with Covid-19. The Speaker also urged the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force managing the country’s response to the pandemic to prescribe minimum health protocols that would be consistent with the WHO decision. ‘I think our people have learned to live with the virus. Though there is a no face mask mandate, many of them continue to wear masks and observe physical distancing. They are aware of the residual threat and they are not letting their guard down,’ he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency