THE Filipino-Chinese business chamber said one of the keys to recovery will be liquidity of sufficient volume to encourage a major boost in consumer spending.

Henry Lim Bon Liong, president of the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc., called on banks and the National Government to help “unleash liquidity” to fuel consumption, which he called “the engine of economic recovery.”

Speaking at the virtual Kamuning Bakery forum Tuesday, he added: “We will vigorously restore confidence and revitalize our economy. It may take time to achieve our pre-pandemic growth targets, but we have to start now by spending.”

Banks can also extend support to small companies, along with larger firms that want to consolidate, he said.

Mr. Lim said that producers, in turn, should help keep basic goods affordable.

“We urge our fellow entrepreneurs to be socially responsible, resourceful, and to think of long-term stability, even if we have to make some sacrifices. Let’s help maintain affordable prices, sufficient inventories of basic goods, especially food and medical supplies.”

Household spending in the second quarter rose 7.2% year on year after declining 15% a year earlier. The unemployment rate was 6.9% in July, the equivalent of 3.073 million out of work.

Following the reimposition of strict lockdown settings last month, retailers called for more rapid vaccination against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). They warned that their stores are seeing minimal foot traffic and that their cash reserves are depleted.

Meanwhile, Restaurant Owners of the Philippines President Eric Teng at the same event said the new alert level lockdown system has created some business stability.

“Having an alert system — like a typhoon system — allows us to have some predictability, so we can prepare our staff. We can prepare our restaurant; we can prepare our stocks,” he said.

“Sometimes, it’s the abrupt the decisions that hurt just as much as the quarantine.” — Jenina P. Ibañez