DTI’s Lopez sees job creation programs continuing in next administration

PHILIPPINE STAR FILE PHOTO

TRADE Secretary Ramon M. Lopez expects a degree of continuity with the next government in programs related to job creation and support for small businesses.

He said his evaluation of all the Presidential and legislative candidates’ platforms indicates broad support for job creation initiatives and small-business aid programs.

“Sila ay pro-job creation… Naririnig din natin ang micro, small, and medium (MSME) development. Lahat sila sumusuporta sa ganitong programa at polisiya (They are all pro-job creation. We also hear interest in developing MSMEs. They all support programs and policies like these),” Mr. Lopez said at a Laging Handa briefing on Wednesday.

“Kaya nakikita natin ’yung continuity ng itong priority agenda na ito kahit sino ang manalo (Whoever wins, we see continuity of these priority agenda items),” he added.

Some of the economic reforms passed recently were amendments to the Public Service Act, Retail Trade Liberalization Act, and Foreign Investment Act, which aim to encourage more foreign investment, whose impact will start reflecting in the economy’s performance after Mr. Duterte steps down.

“We will reap the benefits of these reforms in the next administration,” Mr. Lopez said.

Mr. Lopez said he supports a second booster shot for priority individuals classified in the A1, A2, and A3 categories.

“We are pushing in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the giving of second COVID-19 booster shots at least in the next level after the immunocompromised. This means the A1, A2, and A3 so that we can widen the use and protection of Filipinos and prevent a surge,” Mr. Lopez said.

“We are just waiting for the review of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC). They are reviewing this request. I think they are still waiting for the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO) so that there is basis in the decision,” he added.

The only individuals allowed to have the second COVID-19 booster shot are immunocompromised individuals, starting on April 25. The A1 category consists of frontline health workers, while A2 includes senior citizens. The A3 category is for persons with comorbidities. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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