CEBU

Consumer confidence expected to jump on vaccine hopes

BUSY BUSINESS. The vaccine rollout in Cebu will become the barometer of renewed consumer spending in the coming months. The initial batch of Sinovac vaccines arrived in Cebu on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (SunStar file)

CONSUMER and business confidence are expected to return with the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination program in Cebu.

Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Felix Taguiam told SunStar Cebu that the arrival of the vaccine gives hope for a reinvigorated business environment.

“With the arrival of the first batch here, which will be administered accordingly through priority sectors like frontliners, we are hoping this will be the start of our mass vaccination program by the Department of Health and our local government units,” he said.

Taguiam said the expected arrival of more vaccine doses of different brands coupled with more information dissemination will boost public perception for the better.

“When the vaccine reaches the private sector, it will be a good start for businesses in reviving the economy which we all need now. Let’s put into our minds that even if we are vaccinated, we still need to observe minimum health standards,” he said.

Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said with the arrival of the vaccines, the business community is given a renewed hope and strong confidence to hold on to their businesses and stay open in anticipation of better consumer spending.

“Once we start opening up, that’s the time when consumer spending will start to increase, and in effect, more businesses will open too. Once healthcare workers are inoculated, hospital manpower will be strengthened and it will increase the capacity of the healthcare system,” he said.

Yu added the vaccine rollout will then prompt the government to lift restrictions, which will eventually boost consumer spending.

“Consumer spending is related to lifting restrictions and reducing fear of going out, and vaccination is the answer to that,” he said.

But he emphasized that the economic recovery will depend on the speed of the vaccine rollout.

“Once we hit two million vaccinated individuals, there will be an improvement in consumer spending and economic activities. It will gradually increase depending on the speed of vaccination,” he said.

Filipino Cebuano Business Club chairman Rey Calooy said the vaccination program is being closely looked at by the business sector.

He said companies, including those that temporarily stopped operating to weather the pandemic, are relying on the vaccine on their next business move. (JOB)


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