Manila Bulletin : Gatchalian urges incoming admin: Bring back PH economy to pre-pandemic level

By Hannah Torregoza | Manila Bulletin

The most important thing the next administration should focus on should be on how to bring back the Philippine economy to pre-pandemic level, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Wednesday.

“In my personal analysis, the most important thing here is how to bring back the economy to the pre-pandemic level. That is a priority, that should be the priority of the next administration,” Gatchalian said in an interview on One News PH.

Gatchalian, who is ranking fourth in the 2022 senatorial race based on partial and unofficial count released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) transparency server, said the next government should start sprucing up the economy by considering the “low hanging fruits that we can tap.”

Tourism, he said, is one of these: “I’ve been ging around the country a lot lately and to my discouragement, air traffic has gone back to pre-pandemic level. It is a good sign, but it is a bad phenomenon. But it goes to show that people are raring to go, the increasing demand in tourism, we need to tap that,” he said.

“But we need to fix infrastructures, we need to fix those delays but that is a low hanging fruit,” he said.

Besides, Gatchalian said, tourism is a “gem that we haven’t exploited in our country.”

Based on partial and unofficial counts, presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. is leading the May 2022 presidential race, the same way his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte is leading the vice presidential race.

According to Gatchalian, this is what he had already recommended to Marcos, Jr.

“This is what I recommended to him to jumpstart our economy because tourism is actually one of the fastest ways to invigorate the countryside because money will go straight to the pockets of our people there,” he said.