NCR lockdown to affect Cebu economy

Ehda M. Dagooc (The Freeman) - April 8, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Cebu may have manageable COVID-19 cases lately, but its economy is seen to suffer once again due to the lockdown implemented in National Capital Region (NCR).

“The NCR plus accounts for the lion share of the economy. It will have an impact on national growth later on, which will impact Cebu too,” said Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Steven Yu.

 According to Yu Cebu expects supply of commodities to be slightly affected by at least two to five percent, probably in the coming weeks.

He however clarified that the impact would only be minimal, he said.

In terms of domestic tourists, the impact would affect 10 to 15 percent of arrival from NCR.

“So far, it is not yet felt due to the fact that last week was Holy Week,” he explained.

At present, the mode is muted in Cebu because of the lockdown in NCR plus.

“The business community is waiting for the vaccines to liberate the economy and bring back business to pre-pandemic levels. And we can do this if we have inoculated 60-70 percent of the population,” he expressed optimism.

Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was imposed in NCR Plus starting on March 29 originally only during Holy Week, but had been prolonged until April 11 as daily cases soared to as many as tens of thousands daily.

Estimates from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) showed that the two-week ECQ in NCR Plus would leave about 252,000 Filipinos jobless while 102,000 could become poor.

Economic managers targeted gross domestic product (GDP) growth of a conservative 6.5-7.5 percent in 2021 following 2020’s worst post-war recession when the economy contracted by a record 9.5 percent.

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