The Philippines has no choice but to reopen the economy as it battles the increasing number of Covid-19 cases, or people will die of starvation due to lack of livelihood, Malacañang said on Monday.

“Wala naman tayong alternatibo kung hindi magbukas po talaga ng ekonomiya,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a briefing.

“Naipakita po natin kung ano na naging impact ng Covid-19 kung hindi pa po natin mabubuksan, e, baka mamaya buhay nga tayo mamamatay naman tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” he said.

“Wala na tayong alternatibo dahil talagang sagad na rin po ang ating ekonomiya, kinakailangan na tayong maghanapbuhay lahat,” he added.

The Department of Health said “increased contact among the population” due to the easing of the lockdown might be the main reason for the single-day high of new Covid-19 cases, 2,434, on Sunday.

Roque advised Filipinos to strictly observe minimum public health standards, such as social distancing, wearing masks, and proper hygiene to control the spread of Covid-19. RJ Espartinez