By Archie Villaflores


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno encouraged Filipinos to go out of their homes in a bid to revive the economy battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite health experts' advice discouraging the public to do so.

In a television report Wednesday, Diokno said people should stop "cowering" at home to boost the economy noting that visits to establishments and parks were nearing pre-pandemic levels.

“As of December 29, 2020, visits to places such as grocery and pharmacy and park have approached their pre-COVID levels,” he said.

“The important thing is [to] gain confidence. We have to learn to live with the virus. Let s not keep cowering and hiding in our residences,” he added.

Government officials themselves have repeatedly urged the public to stay at home in order to avoid the further spread of COVID-19 as what health experts worldwide suggest.

Meanwhile, Diokno is confident that the Philippine economy will bounce back from the pandemic by the middle of 2022.

“What we’ve lost last year, we’ll fully recover by middle of next year. Not optimistic. That s a realistic view of the economy. We have learned our lessons. And as I said, when the pandemic hit us, we were in a position of strength,” he said.

“The 6.5 to 7.5% projection for next year is based on the assumption that we will be able to vaccinate a great majority of our people by the first half of 2022. Any early introduction of the vaccine in the Philippines will even improve that.”