Cordillera needs P9B to reboot economy
BAGUIO CITY—The Cordillera will require P9.2 billion to stimulate the local economy that has suffered P18.7 billion in losses during the two-month Luzon quarantine, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
The OCD on Thursday presented the impact of the lockdown to Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chair of the National Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Baguio City and the provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Apayao, Abra and Kalinga are under a general community quarantine (GCQ), which allows essential businesses to reopen.
Galvez, who visited the city on Thursday, said 60 days of strict quarantine were enough to contain the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and that opening certain industries was necessary “or people might die of hunger.”
“This is a long-drawn battle and we need to sustain our economy,” he said, adding that his trip was to “look for models, and the Cordillera is among the best in the fight against COVID-19.”
According to the OCD, medium and small enterprises, transportation, tourism, agriculture and fisheries, and cooperatives incurred the biggest losses, pegged at P11.2 billion, when the quarantine forced them to close.
This represents 60.36 percent of the region’s total losses.
The social sector, composed of education, health and nutrition, and social protection, lost P753.6 million or 4.03 percent of the region’s total losses, and would need P4.3 billion to repair and upgrade health facilities and develop laboratories and research centers.
The infrastructure sector, which includes transportation and communication, lost P3.6 billion or 18.4 percent of total losses when the lockdown restricted movement of people and goods.
About 80 percent of Baguio’s retail and manufacturing businesses opened on the first day of the GCQ, drawing more people to the central business district. —KIMBERLIE QUITASOL
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