Our economic priorities have kept markets calm. They need to continue

Photo: a stok analysts photo of the rise in the Philippine Stock Exchange Index on APril 15, 2020 (CTTO)

If yesterday’s Philippine stock exchange rise is an indication, the perception on the economy and its ability to weather the storm of COVID- 19 has been felt by the markets.

This, in top of the IMF projection yesterday that emerging asia, or the collection of nations including the Philippines will emerge with some growth, has buoyed up markets. Likewise, The Finance Department’s announcement to continue paying foreign debts has calmed fears in the international finance community (the markets) that, in truth, sees the Philippines as a country that will continue to grow in oine with the IMF pronouncement.

The targeted roll out of benefits from the 275 B Bayanihan Fund, and the additional 1.17 trillion is steeped on sound economic theory: fortify the consumers to help the businesses. There can be no small business without the customers and buyers. This is especially true in local communities where quarantine measures have forced many to patronize nearby stores and markets. As expected targeted support for farmers and producers have followed through.

The finance secretary gave a good summary his presentation to the president:

“First, help the poor families, then help the small and medium enterprises, and then to provide support for the companies that are supported by banks.” This should not be other way around.

With this, any criticism from big businessmen that they are made to take the major responsibility,  by government to deal with the crisis is unfounded, grossly unfair, and frankly uncalled for.

The large businesses, in particular, have banks to lean on to fund their recovery. Most businesses other than these are not as lucky and will therefore require a bigger helping hand from government.

We need to remind these big businesses that many of their suppliers fall under the said category.  Moving forward, their help, will be necessary to keep these businesses alive and their employees fed.