The Philippines should pass a 1.3 trillion-peso ($26.4 billion) stimulus package that would give wage subsidies and bigger assistance to pandemic-hit companies, Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo said, supporting a bill which government officials say can’t be funded.
Tax incentives should also be given to companies that will help aid the poor, Ms. Robredo said in a speech two days after President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s state of the nation address. The corporate income tax cut endorsed by Mr. Duterte wouldn’t be enough, the opposition leader said.
She called on Mr. Duterte to address the COVID-19 testing backlog, improve the management of infection data and provide health workers a more equitable pay.
“The pandemic won’t end if we just wait for a vaccine. We have to stem the spread of the virus as soon as possible,” Ms. Robredo said.
The Philippines’ coronavirus cases more than doubled this month to over 85,000, including 1,962 deaths as of Wednesday—the second-highest number of infections in Southeast Asia. — Bloomberg