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PH New COVID19 response report sets to be out soon

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Photo of BSP Governor Bejamin Diokno during the European Chamber of Commerce joint economic briefing last July 2018 at the Diamond Makati Residences

By Alithea De Jesus 

Given the fact that the coronavirus in the Philippines has affected the economic activities and resulted in the loss of jobs, shutting down of companies, loss of lives to name a few.

The government has been endeavoring to balance the delicate concerns of the pandemic such as saving lives and managing the adverse impact on the economy.  The country’s plans for recovery will be explored in detail in a new COVID Response Report (CRR) produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG).

The CRR – select economic data for which will be gathered and vetted with assistance from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) – will provide in-depth analysis of the Philippines’ response to the pandemic in an easy-to-navigate and accessible format, focusing on key data and infographics relating to the country’s socio-economic landscape.

Divided into sections, it will contain a macroeconomic and political overview of the South-east Asian nation prior to Covid-19. The report will then examine the government’s immediate efforts to stem the spread of the virus, which included introducing both the enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine, alongside the government’s fiscal response and the steps that are being taken to initiate recovery longer term.

The CRR will pinpoint the sectors of the economy that are expected to drive new growth and the investment opportunities likely to emerge from the crisis. In addition, license holders will find coverage of the part played by key institutions, such as the BSP, in supporting households, businesses, and investors when the pandemic took hold.

The measures introduced by the central bank to mitigate the impact of the economic crisis are also mapped out in a wide-ranging interview that Benjamin Diokno, the governor of the BSP, gave to OBG.

In the interview, Diokno gives details of the monetary tools that have been employed, or are in the pipeline, to help contain the fallout from the pandemic and enhance the BSP’s ability to manage liquidity in the system.

Having sufficient liquidity is indispensable at this time, as it allows banks to properly fulfill their financial intermediary role,” he told OBG.

Diokno also underscored the country’s strong macroeconomic position and robust banking system, which he said had proved to be beneficial in recent months. “The banking sector is stable and resilient, with sufficient capitalization and liquidity, as well as low exposure to bad debts,” he said.

Other topics explored in the interview include the part that the Covid-19 outbreak looks set to play in accelerating the BSP’s plans to steer the Philippines towards a cash-light society by mid-2023.

Patrick Cooke, OBG’s Regional Editor for Asia, said that the arrival of several digital-only banks in the local market and moves by legacy lenders to upgrade their online offerings were signs that the industry’s digitalization efforts were accelerating as a result of the disruption caused by the coronavirus.

“Significantly, the advancement of digital banking is also expected to support efforts to attain financial inclusion and reduce poverty, both of which are known to be priorities for the government,” he said. “I look forward to exploring these and other topical issues in our research with BSP for this timely report.”

The CRR on the Philippines will form part of a series of tailored reports which the global research and advisory company is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment articles and interviews.

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