Iloilo Province crafts Covid-19 economic recovery plan

THE Iloilo Provincial Government is crafting its rehabilitation and recovery strategy to address the social and economic impact of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. said the priority sectors will be agriculture, tourism, and public transportation.

"Our priority will be agriculture because there are a lot of unsold products as well as a loss in capital. And then the tourism industry because of zero tourist arrivals and then the public sector because of restriction on transportation. But of course almost everybody is affected," he said.

The Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) is currently preparing the draft recovery plan.

The key areas include public health and environment, agriculture and fisheries, trade and industry, and social services.

The governor said this plan will then be converted into programs and projects that will stimulate the economy.

"You have the direction which is this but you have to reduce it into budget...What will you add into the strategy and budget of the province for 2020? That is the challenge. What will be your innovations for you to say that you have a recovery program that will really stimulate the economy?" he said.

Defensor earlier reported that from March 15 to April 30, 2020 when the enhanced community quarantine was imposed, the province incurred an estimated economic loss of more than P10 billion.

The tourism sector lost roughly P1.1 billion in tourist receipts.

The business and trade industry lost around P4.8 billion due to closure of 65 percent of establishments.

The agriculture sector incurred a damage of P103 million. This covers unsold farm produce as well as fish sold at a lower price.

The transport sector suffered from a loss of P59.8 million (for jeepneys) and P44.6 million (for buses). The province has yet to estimate the losses for sea and air transport.

In terms of employment, roughly P2.4 billion was lost. This covers a total of 379,060 formal and informal workers from 38 local government units.

Stoppage in construction projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways-Western Visayas resulted in a loss of P117 million, affecting 5,280 workers.

Remittances of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are expected to reduce to to percent from three percent, thus a drop of $300 million nationwide.

Around P2 billion was cut in the income of the Business Process Outsourcing industry. (PR)


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