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More gov’t financial support sought for sectors most badly hit by pandemic

THE Trade department is being urged to work with construction materials manufacturers and importers to develop a long-term plan for cost-effective products in the country. — JCOMP-FREEPIK

THE government is being urged to provide more financial support across sectors and to ramp up infrastructure investments to help the pandemic-battered economy recover faster.

Participants at the Sulong Pilipinas 2021 economic forum identified top recommendations for each of 10 sectors, setting targets even after the Duterte administration ends in mid-2022 .

“These suggested actions, we believe, would help the country to quickly recover from the negative impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic and grow at a much faster pace even beyond this administration,” Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) President Benedicto V. Yujuico said.

In response, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said that the government will take the recommendations into consideration “and do our best to achieve most of them within the remaining period of the President’s term.”

Among the recommendations for the agriculture sector included more government support for farmers, particularly through financial aid and farming implements and consistent marketing of local produce by end-2021.

The government was asked to identify measures to strengthen science and technology education in the Philippine curriculum, and pinpoint investment opportunities for self-sufficient research facilities by 2022.

Sulong Pilipinas participants also called for the establishment of a one-stop shop for all government services within 2021. To improve its health response, the government was also asked to invest in human resources, facilities, and technology by 2022.

The Transportation department was urged to focus its transportation and logistics roadmap on mass transit and rail systems within five to eight years.

The Trade department should also work with construction materials manufacturers and importers to develop a long-term plan for cost-effective products by August 2021, Sulong Pilipinas participants added, to boost the government infrastructure program. — Jenina P. Ibañez

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