Cordillera suffer P15.6 billion losses due to COVID-19

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BAGUIO CITY  – The Cordillera office of the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA-CAR) reported that various sectors in the region incurred more than P15.6 billion losses following the implementation of the Luznwide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of the dreaded Coronavirus Disease (COVID) 2019.

In a social impact assessment for the Cordillera that was conducted on April 21 to May 15, 2020, the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council-Regional Inter-Agency Task Force (CDRRMC-RIATF) found the need to highlight recovery and re-construction based on the post-disaster needs assessment that was used for the said purpose.

Based on the initial assessments that were conducted, the NEDA-CAR report stated that the region’s economic losses attributed to COVID reached P18.6 billion.

Of the said amount, the estimated losses in the productive sector was a valued at P11.2 billion or about 60.36 percent of the total estimated losses while foregone income opportunities from various sectors amounted to P11.02 billion or 59 percent of the total estimated losses.

The report stated that losses refer to the value of foregone income that were affected such as production decline, reduced income and increased expenditure over a period of time until the economy and assets have recovered.

On the other hand, the total losses to the region’s social sector was valued at P753.5 million where it represents a share of 4.03 percent of the total losses reported for COVID.

Under the education sub-sector where basic education under the education department, higher education institutions under the Commission on Higher Education and technical-vocational institutions under the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the estimated losses had a share of 30.45 percent of the total losses in the social sector.

According to the report, the delivery of health services was reportedly challenged due to the effects of the global pandemic where an estimated P499.2 million losses were accounted and shared 66.24 percent of the total damages in the social sector.

The reported that the pandemic has generally brought expected economic losses and as a measure to mitigate the effects, especially to the poor, vulnerable and marginalized sectors of the society, the government allotted funds as for the provision of safety nets and social amelioration programs, services such as assistance to individuals in crisis situation, augmentation of food and non-food items and sustainable livelihood program.

Of the livelihood assistance grant, the sub-sector had a total loss amounting to P1.5 million which is composed of the higher operating cost mainly on the provision of assistance to individuals in crisis situation.

For the productive sector that is composed of 7 sub-sectors, the estimated losses reached P11.2 billion where it shared 60.36 percent of the losses attributed to COVID.

Further, the global pandemic dealt a severe blow to the region’s employment and labor sector where losses reached P3.1 billion that include foregone income opportunities of mostly formal sector workers.

On micro, small and medium enterprises and cooperatives, losses were estimated to be P1.5 billion while agriculture and fisheries lost over P1.6 billion.

The report disclosed that the total losses in tourism was estimated to be over P333 .2 million but the some only reflects the foregone income opportunities of various hotels, lodging and accommodation facilities registered in the region.

However, the total losses in the said sub-sector reached over P1.3 billion for March and April which include the average expenses of tourists in accommodation, transportation, meals and other tourism-related expenses.

In the transport industry, losses were estimated at P379.8 million.

Initial loss assessment for the industry and services sector was estimated to be at P4.2 billion which was 37.75 percent of the total losses for the productive sector.

In the construction sector, the total amount of losses amounted to P3.6 billion or about 18.4 percent of the total estimated losses of the region

The report stated that growth in the regional domestic product is expected to decline with recorded losses in all major sectors where the total economic losses amounted to P15.66 billion corresponding to 4.8 percent of the gross regional domestic product target for this year.