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Drilon backs Dominguez on relaxing quarantine in NCR, Calabarzon: It’s vital to revive economy, provide jobs

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Senate Minority Floor Leader Franklin Drilon has backed the proposal of the country’s economic managers to ease the current restrictions imposed in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other ‘regional economic powerhouses’ amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Drilon has supported the recommendation made by Finance Sec. Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III to loosen the quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and other economic centers including Region 4-A which consists the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon (CALABARZON) in order to rebuild the economy that was heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

“I support Secretary Dominguez’s call to ease restrictions in the National Capital Region and CALABARZON and put them under the modified general community quarantine,” said Drilon.

Drilon warned that any further delay in the easing of quarantine restrictions in these two economic centers “will cause further damage to our economy and our people who have lost their livelihood.”

“The full opening of the economy in the country’s economy centers and the country’s seat of power, Metro Manila, is vital in our goal to revive the economy and provide jobs for our displaced workers,” he said

Drilon stressed that NCR and Region 4-A are among the “top two contributors to the national economy,” adding that half of the country’s manufacturing special economic zones are located in CALABARZON.

Dominguez, in his briefing with the President Rodrigo Tuesday night, noted that the two regions made up 67 percent of the country’s economy, adding that there is a better chance for the government of rebuilding the country’s pandemic-stricken economy “the sooner we can bring back normalcy in these two regions.”

Based on the projection of the National Economic Development Authority, the Philippine economy is likely to contract by 4.3 percent to 4 percent by the end of 2020.

Meanwhile, Drilon noted that British banking giant HSBC projected a full year contraction rate of 3.85 percent.

Drilon said he agreed with observations of experts that the economic damage of COVID-19 could have been avoided or minimized if the government did not implement aggressive lockdowns and harsh quarantine measures.

Drilon also cited the latest figures from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, which recorded lower net foreign direct investments (FDI) in the first three months of 2020—$1.669 billion from $1.945 billion in the same period last year.

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