DOF, ADB launch survey to assess impact of COVID on businesses

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Finance (DOF) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have launched a survey to help develop programs to assist various sectors affected by the economic fallout due to the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 pandemic.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said the enterprise survey for the COVID-19 impact in the Philippines would cover big companies.

“To develop an appropriate and targeted program to assist various sectors of the economy negatively affected by the fallout of the response to the contagion,” Dominguez replied to reporters via text message when asked about the end goal of the survey.

The multilateral development bank is conducting a rapid survey on companies in the Philippines to assess the impact of COVID-19 on their businesses and explore possible assistance to firms devastated by the pandemic.

“To this end, we would very much appreciate your cooperation in answering following questions. It will take around 30 minutes to complete this survey,” ADB said in the letter to owners of companies.

Last month, ADB approved a $1.5 billion loan to help the government fund its COVID-19 response program and strengthen the country’s healthcare system in its fight against the pandemic.

ADB president Masatsugu Asakawa said the assistance was the largest budget support loan to the Philippines ever reflecting its strong commitment to providing cornerstone assistance swiftly and effectively to help the country mitigate the pandemic’s devastating impact on Filipinos, particularly the poor and vulnerable, including women.

“Amid a global pandemic, the most vulnerable are developing countries, especially those with densely populated cities such as the Philippines. We commend the government for its leadership and clear actions in containing the spread of COVID-19, including scaling up its health response, enforcing an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon to save lives, and rolling out subsidy programs to affected segments of the population,” Asakawa said earlier.

ADB’s COVID-19 Active Response and Expenditure Support (CARES) program – funded through the COVID-19 pandemic response option (CPRO) – will support the government’s measures to help its citizens overcome the health, economic, and social costs of the pandemic by helping finance the country’s COVID-19 response programs.

Government actions include increased funding for social protection, especially for women who are primary household and family caregivers; small business relief assistance; and wider health measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

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