Philippines

N. Mindanao loses P5B to lockdown

By December 21, 2020 One Comment

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Northern Mindanao lost at least P5.2 billion in economic opportunities due to the lockdown imposed by local governments in the region to contain the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to a government economist.

Mylah Faye Aurora Cariño, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), said the losses represented unrealized income from the retail, trade and tourism sectors.

Cariño said that in the absence of primary data, the agency’s initial estimate on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the region was mainly based on the number of businesses that either temporarily closed or scaled-down operations.

Dole assistance

She said 5,566 businesses shut down in the region, affecting 76,000 workers, while 1,948 others introduced flexible working arrangements, affecting 44,000 employees.

The Neda used the data on the number of employers who applied with the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) for the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), which provides a P5,000 one-time assistance to displaced employees.

The Dole had released the aid to 4,899 displaced workers in the region before it suspended CAMP applications on April 15 due to depleted funds.

Dole records showed that as of April 14, 49 percent of the distressed companies that sought CAMP assistance were located in the region’s capital, Cagayan de Oro City, accounting for about 60 percent of affected workers.

Cagayan de Oro is home to 700,000 people. Before the national health emergency, its daytime population normally swelled to 1.2 million, with workers coming in from neighboring towns in Misamis Oriental province.

VILLAGE BARRICADE Residents of a heavily populated village in Cagayan de Oro City set up their own barricade to regulate the entry of people to their community and help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. —FROILAN GALLARDO

Reopening

The region’s economy, propelled mainly by Cagayan de Oro, was valued at P323 billion in 2017. It was also expanding at 5.9 percent annually.

The city’s shopping malls and other major businesses are set to reopen on Friday as a calibrated move by the local government to restart the local economy and ease the financial burden of the community quarantine on residents and businessmen.

Mayor Oscar Moreno signed the order adopting the omnibus guidelines of the national interagency task force on COVID-19 on the reopening of businesses in areas downgraded to general community quarantine.

The phased reopening of its economy was greeted with announcements from health officials that three persons had tested positive for COVID-19 in the region, two of them in Cagayan de Oro.

Quarantined front-liners

Almost 200 people, mostly medical front-liners, were quarantined in Northern Mindanao after they were exposed to at least three patients infected with COVID-19.

Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) in Cagayan de Oro, the region’s main COVID-19 referral facility, placed 91 staff members in isolation.

Also on quarantine were 40 health workers of a private hospital, 35 emergency responders from the Cagayan de Oro City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office and 15 family members of one of the infected patients.

The NMMC staff members were in contact with a 21-year-old man who was injured in a vehicular accident on April 19 and who underwent spine surgery at the hospital on April 21. On April 22, he was transferred to another hospital but he was sent back to NMMC on April 30, the day he tested positive for COVID-19.

The man died on May 6 in an isolation room of the medical center. —WITH REPORTS FROM RYAN ROSAURO, FROILAN GALLARDO AND LEAH AGONOY INQ

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this .

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TAGS: COVID-19, economic losses, lockdown, northern mindanao
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