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P90 billion economic loss seen from recent typhoons
In a virtual press conference yesterday, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said the impact of the recent typhoons – Ulysses, Rolly, Quinta, Tonyo and Siony – which hit the Philippines in recent weeks may cause a 0.15 percentage point reduction in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Miguel De Guzman

P90 billion economic loss seen from recent typhoons

Catherine Talavera (The Philippine Star) - November 19, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The onslaught of the recent typhoons could result in an estimated P90 billion loss for the Philippine economy, an official of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

In a virtual press conference yesterday, NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said the impact of the recent typhoons – Ulysses, Rolly, Quinta, Tonyo and Siony –  which hit the Philippines in recent weeks may cause a 0.15 percentage point reduction in the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“I think our initial estimate is that it will shed off something like a 0.15 percentage point to the full year. But again like I said, it is a very initial estimate. It will have to be updated once we get updates from the ground,” Edillon said.

“Right now we are seeing that the impact is actually a bit less than the impact of (Typhoon) Ondoy and we think it’s really because in areas like Marikina, we see that the flood actually subsided more quickly than during Ondoy,” she said.

Edillon said the estimated reduction translates to around P90 billion.

Before Ulysses hit, acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua said damage incurred until up to the onslaught of Rolly had been valued at P38.8 billion, equivalent to 0.21 percent of the estimated P18 trillion GDP.

Chua said based on preliminary estimates, this can knock off only 0.055 percentage point from GDP growth in the last quarter of the year.

In the third quarter, the country’s GDP shrank at a less severe pace as it declined by 11.5 percent year-on-year.

This resulted in an average year-to-date contraction of 10 percent.

Meanwhile, in the same press briefing, Edillon said the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement could help the country’s economic recovery.

She said when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, several countries implemented restrictions in the export of their products such as PPE and medicines.

“We are looking at the RCEP  to be an even bigger pool that will actually make for better security as well in times like this,” she said.

The RCEP is the world’s biggest multilateral trading agreement, signed by 15 countries including the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, China, Japan, South Korea Australia and New Zealand, which account for a third of the world’s population and GDP.

The agreement aims to lower tariffs and open up services trade within the bloc.

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