The easing of the community quarantine in the Greater Manila Area can restore some 300,000 jobs, Trade Sec. Ramon Lopez said Friday as the Philippines seeks to revive its economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some 200,000 to 300,000 jobs can be restored with the shift to GCQ with "heightened restrictions" by May 15 in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal according to Lopez.
"Maaaring may maibalik pa na maybe 200,000 to 300,000 trabaho para at least mapababa pa ang mga nawalan ng trabaho,” Lopez said in an interview on GMA's Dobol B TV.
Lopez earlier said that some 1.5 million jobs were lost during the enhanced community quarantine in the Greater Manila Area in April. Some 500,000 jobs were restored when the quarantine was slightly eased to MECQ, he said.
Last week, Socioeconomic Planning Sec. Karl Kendrick Chua said the quarantine in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces should be loosened by mid-May for the Philippines to meet its growth target.
Economic managers are targeting a gross domestic product growth of 6.5% to 7.5% this year and 8% to 10% in 2022 after the economy last year sank to its worst recession since World War II.
Chua said authorities are "managing the risk" instead of shutting down the entire economy, with up to 98% of workers allowed to go to work as long as they have no COVID symptoms.
Under the GCQ with "heightened restrictions," more industries were allowed to operate and expand their operations such as restaurants, and personal care services.