Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said policymakers were "willing to use all the tools in its arsenal whenever necessary" to support the Philippine economy, which is set to slow or possibly contract this year.
The economy's growth drivers like consumption, tourism, trade will likely take a hit with half of the country's 107 million population under strict stay-at-home orders, while travel restrictions remain in place.
The Philippines was among the first countries to adopt strict home quarantine measures. They were due to be lifted next week, but were extended by President Rodrigo Duterte until April 30.
A collapse in world oil prices, price freeze on basic necessities, and a drop in utility costs, should push April inflation lower than the 2.5% rate in March, and that should give monetary authorities "more room" for easing, Diokno said.
The central bank has slashed interest rates by a total of 75 basis points so far this year, more than the 50 bps it had earlier committed, and cut the banks' required reserves by 200 bps to boost liquidity.
The central bank will meet on May 21 to set policy rates.
The economic planning agency said growth this year could be between -0.6% and +4.3%, excluding measures to counter the economic impact of the health crisis, a substantial drop from the government's +6.5 to +7.5% target for the year.
(Reporting by Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Arun Koyyur)
By Karen Lema and Neil Jerome Morales