Economy loses P180B during NCR Plus ECQ — Lopez

Published April 15, 2021, 2:53 PM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

The Philippine economy lost an estimated P180 billion in just the recent two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez. 

Lopez said that based on estimates, the two-week strict lockdown could account for  one percent of GDP. If the GDP is P18 trillion, Lopez said the estimated loss of the economy was P180 billion just for the two-week lockdown in the NCR Plus bubble. NCR is the economic center of the country. It accounts for 32 percent of total economy.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

Lopez said the DTI is still finalizing their survey and is conducting another study to determine the number of micro small and medium enterprises affected by the ECQ and the current modified ECQ that will end on April 30.

Before the ECQ, he said, a DTI survey showed there were only a smaller 4.6 percent of establishments that had remained closed but with the ECQ more companies were forced to close again.

In terms of joblessness, Lopez said the estimate was 1.5 million workers lost their jobs and only 500,000 are able to return to work during this MECQ period. This is because most establishments are still on limited capacity operation. This means there are still 1 million workers who are still out of job.

For instance, the restaurant industry which employs 2 million can only operate for take out and outdoor dine-in services. Since most of these restaurants do not have outdoor spaces as they are located in malls, most of them remained closed and will operate only by end this month when the MECQ is lifted. 

Lopez said that if new data will show of increase capacity in terms of hospital beds and healthcare facilities and lower number of COVID-19 cases, he would push for a more relaxed general community quarantine.