Senatorial aspirant Jejomar Binay on Thursday said if he is elected, he will prioritize giving the basic needs of sectors severely affected by the present health crisis brought by the novel coronavirus disease.
Binay said the government needs to inspire confidence in the economy and it needs to encourage people to begin spending again.
“That could take some time, especially when you have over three million out of work, seven million underemployed, and millions of families still mired in poverty,” he said.
Binay said the people cannot be expected to spend because whatever little money they have goes to basic necessities, and the emergence of new variants further complicates any long-term program for economic and social recovery.
“I propose a sustained program to increase the spending power of those severely affected by the pandemic: poor families, the elderly and other vulnerable sectors, unemployed and underemployed workers, and small entrepreneurs,” the former vice president said.
He said this can be done through cash aid, food subsidies, free medical care including medicines, interest-free loans, income tax breaks, and other forms of government assistance to ease the burdens until they recover and the economy bounces back.
“Needless to state, this would require a shift in budget priorities to address the people’s social needs during the pandemic,” he added.
Binay had criticized the government anew for not giving what the people really need amid the pandemic.