PSA: Cordillera businesses quick to recover from pandemic | Inquirer News

PSA: Cordillera businesses quick to recover from pandemic

/ 05:02 AM December 21, 2023

BAGUIO CITY — Businesses in the Cordillera region recovered much faster than expected after mobility restrictions eased in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, earning P254.9 billion in 2021, according to the latest annual survey of Philippine Business and Industry.

Most establishments in the region were shuttered by the first lockdown and quarantines in 2020, so revenues dropped by 18 percent (P221.5 billion), said Betina Joy Bermillo, Cordillera senior statistical specialist of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), at a briefing this week.

But after people were allowed to leave their homes, at least 5,256 establishments resumed operations with 67,956 workers, and the average annual compensation for each employee rose to P288,825 from P248,989 in 2020 and P257,433 in 2019, Bermillo said.


The high revenues and relatively smaller workforce may account for the spike in compensation, she said.


When the lockdown was enforced, the Cordillera workforce dropped to 71,626 from 103,421 employees in 2019.

Population decline

The 2020 census also showed a decline in the region’s population, particularly in this city, when transient workers decided to return to their hometowns outside the Cordillera to ride out the pandemic, Bermillo said.

Private and government assistance (“ayuda”) given to workers because of the economic instability during that period were counted as part of 2021 compensation, said Joyce Egsan, PSA Cordillera supervising statistical specialist handling industry and the economy.

More than 90 percent of businesses in 2021 were in the services sector.

Bermillo said repair shops and wholesale and retail trade (2,553); arts, recreation, or entertainment facilities (51); and real estate activities (162) posted the highest increase in numbers.

The lockdowns affected the supply chain, which accounted for the 151-percent rise in e-commerce transactions in 2020, with 367,299 businesses shifting online.


E-commerce had already accelerated in 2019 before the pandemic, with 146,342 establishments offering their services through the internet.

But the number of e-commerce shops dropped by 84.6 percent (56,616 businesses) by 2021, “when people were allowed to leave their homes, and many preferred to shop for goods or dine out for themselves,” Bermillo said.

The annual survey has helped the government track how formal businesses coped with the pandemic, which brought down Cordillera’s growth to a negative 10.2 percent in 2020.

But the survey did not include the informal economy, which may have continued to do business online, Bermillo said.

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READ: In Cordillera, variants linked to COVID spike

TAGS: businesses, Cordillera, pandemic, recover

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