By Chino S. Leyco
The foregone income due to Taal Volcano eruption is insignificant to drag down the country’s economy and even the mainland southern Tagalog region, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.
Based on the initial assessment by the NEDA, the total economic losses within the current high-risk areas inside the 14-kilometer radius from the Taal Volcano crater amounted to ₱4.31 billion, equivalent to only 0.17 percent of Region IV-A’s economic output in 2018.
For this reason, Socioeconomic Planing Undersecretary Adoracion Navarro said that the Taal unrest will have minimal effect on the country’s economy, which is expected to grow by 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent this year.
As of today, the eruption affected 16 municipalities and cities with a total population of 393,863.
According to NEDA, CALABARZON’s foregone income in agriculture and fishery sector stood at ₱3.17 billion, while services has ₱789.1 million and industry with ₱357.3 million.
Meanwhile, the NEDA estimated higher losses in Region IV-A should the affected areas of the Taal Volcano activity widen to 17-kilometer radius.
NEDA has placed economic losses in CALABARZON at ₱6.6 billion or 0.26 percent of gross regional domestic product (GRDP) if Alert Level is raised to 5 from current 4. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology maintained Alert Level 4 for Taal Volcano in the province of Batangas, which means hazardous eruption could still occur “within hours to days.”
Initial estimates by the NEDA revealed that a much intense unrest would result in ₱3.168 billion in foregone income in agriculture and fishery, ₱2.78-billion losses in services sector and ₱712 million in industry sector.