Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine economy will take more than a decade to return to pre-pandemic growth, Economic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua has said.

He warned that the next two generations of Filipinos would be paying for the cost of COVID-19.

According to the official, lockdowns and other restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus have shattered the Southeast Asian nation's economy, leaving millions out of work and many poor families hungry.

The country's long run total cost of COVID-19 and the quarantine both to the present and future society will reach 41.4 trillion pesos (810 billion billion USD), Chua said.

According to Chua, currently, nearly 70 percent of the economy, including 23.3 million workers, still have to comply with the strict restrictions imposed to combat the pandemic. Consumption, investment and tax revenues would struggle to recover as social distancing rules prevent key sectors, such as tourism and restaurants, from fully reopening. Productivity would be lower due to death, illness or lack of schooling during the pandemic.

Chua said the Philippine economy is forecast to grow 4-5 percent this year, but it would take 10 years before the country returned to pre-pandemic growth, which averaged 6.4 percent in the 10 years before COVID-19 hit.

To date, the Philippines has recorded more than 2.5 million COVID-19 cases, including more than 38,000 deaths. Over 25 percent of the country's adult population has  been fully vaccinated against COVID-19./.