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Less quarantine, vaccine deployment now

HEALTH experts may not like this but continued easing of quarantine measures are expected to boost the country’s economic domestic growth this year.

Our growth could be between six to seven percent which close to the 6.5-7.5 percent target of economic managers, according to a banker.

Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) chief economist Michael Ricafort said the timely approval of the P4.5-trillion national budget for this year is also a plus since it will ensure that infrastructure programs will be financed.

He also projects the passage of priority reform bills like the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises, which will reduce corporate income tax and the Financial Institutions Strategic Transfer bill early this year.

Ricafort, however, cited risks to domestic growth including the continued increase of COVID-19 cases in the US, and the possible impact of the continued mutation of COVID-19, which will complicate measures that need to be implemented to address the pandemic.

This is why I agree that the sustained easing of quarantine measures should be coupled with an effective deployment of the anti COVID-19 vaccines which are already making their way to some markets abroad.

I hope the vaccines reach the Philippines as soon as possible.


Many more children were lucky to have their education funded by the government.

The schooling of some 5,025 kins of Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) members for schoolyear 2020-2021 is going to be subsidized by the state pension fund under the GSIS Educational Subsidy Program.

The grantees were selected from 5,427 nominees. Priority was given to children of GSIS members with the lowest annual basic salary. The grantees will be notified via email and text message. The list will be uploaded to the GSIS website at www.gsis.gov.ph.

GSIS will give a P10,000 yearly financial assistance to the grantees to augment their educational fund. They will continue to receive the subsidy until they finish their college course provided they meet the 80% general weighted average with no failing grade or incomplete mark in any subject in the previous semester or term of the academic year.

The GESP allowance will be deposited to the bank account of the grantees at the Land Bank of the Philippines.

GSIS opened GESP from March to September 2020 to accommodate as many active members as possible considering the movement restrictions of the nationwide community quarantine.

GESP is the pension fund’s response to President Duterte’s call to provide wider access to quality college education to the marginalized sector. It complements Republic Act No. 10931 or the 2017 Universl Access to Quality Tertiary Education which provides free tuition and miscellaneous fees.

For GESP concerns and inquiries, interested parties may call Mgr. Raymundo Palad, Leslie Fangonil, or Rodello Giron of the GSIS Corporate Social Advocacies Department through (02) 8479-3588, (02) 8479-3571 to 72. GSIS branch offices nationwide may also assist applicants.


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