The Department of Trade and Industry said it is already seeing signs of economic recovery following the opening of more businesses in the country.

RAMON LOPEZ DTI SECRETARY 1024x683 - Economy slowly recovering; exports record 2% growth
Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez. (ALFRED FRIAS/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO FILE PHOTO)

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, in an interview with DZBB Saturday, said the country’s exports have bounced back to positive territory – up to 2 percent from as low as -50 percent.

Lopez said the country saw a 50-percent decline in exports over the past few months due to the pandemic.

“Nag two-percent growth na tayo… Nung unti unting nagbubukas yung mga sektor ay umakyat ulit, ibig sabihin nag lessen yung pag bagsak (We recorded a two-percent growth in our exports…When we slowly started opening up the different sectors of the economy, exports also grew, the decline started to lessen),” Lopez said.

“Nag minus 50, nag minus 30, nag minus 9 tapos ngayon, postive two na…ibig sabihin maganda po yung numero ngayon (We went from minus 50 to minus 30 to minus nine and now positive two…that means our numbers are good now),” he added.

Lopez also said there has also been an improvement in the country’s manufacturing sector.

The DTI chief said the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) is close to hitting the 50-benchmark again.

“Bago mag pandemic tayo ay parating over 50, pero nung nag lockdown umabot yan sa 30 below. Ngayon, umakyat na yan to 48-49 at some point nag 50 an ulit, 50.1, pero recently 48 point something (Before pandemic, the country’s PMI is always over 50, but when we imposed the lockdown it went down to below 30. Now, it has gone up to 48-49, at some point it was able to hit 50.1, but recently the country’s PMI is at 48 point something),” he said.

Generally, the PMI is going in an upward direction, Lopez said.

In terms of employment, Lopez said both unemployment and underemployment are already decreasing.

Lopez said unemployment has gone down from 17.7% in April to 10% in July.

The number of closed micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) has also declined according to Lopez.

From 38 percent to 40 percent, Lopez said the number of closed businesses has gone down to nine percent around August, and further decreased to five percent around September to October.

“May mga sarado pa rin, pero nabawasan na ng malaki (There are still business that remain closed, but they are lesser now),” Lopez said.

Asked if there’s a possibility for the National Capital Region to shift to a Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) by December, Lopez said: “Napapag usapan (There have been talks about it).”

“Pero pagdating po kasi sa community classification, tinitingnan po, binabase to sa data…sa readiness ng ating critical care utilization (However, the decision on the matter will be based on the country’s COVID-19 data…on the readiness of our critical care utilization),” he added.

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