The economy as expected still shrank 4.2 percent in the first three months of 2021 from the same period last year when the nationwide lockdown virtually froze all business activities starting in March. But some positive data indicate that the economy is on the mend. The economic contraction has slowed down from the previous quarters, although current quarantine rules are limiting the recovery. The first-quarter gross domestic product figures show where the economy is weakest. The construction sector slumped 24.2 percent while services plunged 38 percent. Millions of Filipinos rely on the jobs generated by the construction and services sectors. The slump in these sectors means fewer jobs were available for construction workers and the service crew and personnel that work in fast-food restaurants, hotels, gas stations, retail outlets, spas and salons, and shopping malls. The country’s economic managers noted that the first-quarter performance was constrained by lockdown rules to curb the spread of COVID-19. They recommended easing the rules in phases to support the economic recovery. Specifically, they favored moving Metro Manila toward the more lenient modified general community quarantine status and allowing families and their children to participate in the economy, and restart face-to-face schooling.