Calabarzon’s lockdown losses reach P265B | Inquirer News

Calabarzon’s lockdown losses reach P265B

Company retrenchments, shutdowns displace 25,000 workers; Neda says region needs P67B in investments to recover
/ 04:20 AM July 17, 2020

SAN PEDRO CITY—Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), the region closest to Metro Manila’s southern borders, lost P265 billion in income and more than 25,000 jobs in just about over a month of strict quarantine and movement restriction to control the coronavirus spread.

While Metro Manila registered the highest income loss at P589 billion (7.89 percent of gross regional domestic product, or GRDP), Calabarzon lost an equivalent to 9.02 percent of GRDP and appeared to be the hardest hit in Luzon when the national government ordered a lockdown in March and April.

ECONOMIC IMPACT Some workers use their bikes on their way to the Cavite Economic Zone in Rosario, Cavite province. Community lockdowns and work stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic have displaced more than 7,000 workers in Cavite’s industrial zones and manufacturing firms. —RICHARD REYES

Stricter protocol

With three of the region’s provinces—Cavite, Batangas and Laguna—still under a tight movement control, “we expect [losses] to be even higher than [what was reported],” said Theresa Jane Medilla, policy formulation division chief of the regional National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).


Much of that loss during the 45-day enhanced community quarantine alone was the P244 billion in “forgone income or revenue” from the region’s industry sector, the Neda said in an online briefing on Thursday.


Also on Thursday, local officials announced Laguna’s return to stricter general quarantine for the rest of July after seeing a spike in the number of infections since the lockdown was eased.

“There are many considerations, for instance, the case-doubling time (period it takes for infection to double in an area) and the increasing number of cases,” Ariel Iglesia, Department of the Interior and Local Government regional director, said in a separate phone interview.

Striking a balance

The Department of Health (DOH) said 4,099 people in the region had tested positive for the coronavirus as of July 15. Of these, 2,154 are active cases. Laguna has the most number of infections with 1,367, followed by Rizal (1,063) and Cavite (921).

Calabarzon “contributes 6 to 7 percent” to the national tally of positive cases, said Dr. Eduardo Janairo, DOH regional director.

“We have to strike a balance between health and reopening the economy, otherwise the economy will suffer,” Iglesia said.


Laguna could expect to see tighter movement policies and road checkpoints anew, although border restrictions would depend on local government protocols, he said.


According to the Neda, travel restrictions, disrupted supply chain and higher cost of raw materials contributed to the “bottlenecks” in the wholesale and retail trade and industrial zones in the region.

It said 25,421 people lost their jobs, either temporarily or permanently, due to company retrenchment or business shutdowns.

Laguna recorded the highest number of jobs displacement in the region, “probably because it’s where many industries are located,” Medilla said.

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The Neda said the region would need about P67.21 billion as “investment requirement” over the next two years to recover.

TAGS: Calabarzon, coronavirus Philippines, Economy, Employment, Jobs, lockdown, losses, pandemic, Quarantine

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