Saturday, July 31, 2021

Covid 48, Interview at Aksyon Radyo Iloilo and Radyo Bacolod

This morning, I was interviewed live in radio, twice. First was Aksyon Radyo Iloilo hosted by Aksyon Junjun Jr. Then Aksyon Radyo Bacolod hosted by Art Tayhopon. Topic was "Collateral damages of the lockdown in Iloilo-Bacolod", purely in Ilongo language. They wanted to know some economic numbers re impact in the region (Region 6, Western Visayas) and what can be done.

Sharing here some numbers and my arguments.

1. Economic impact of lockdown, national:

* GDP contraction 2020 of -9.6% was the worst PH record since post-WW2, worst in East Asia, 4th worst in the world's top 50 largest economies.

* Same virus that started in China, present in the PH, Malaysia, Vietnam, Germany, France, USA, etc yet has severe impact in the PH. It's not the virus per se but response to the virus, lockdown policies, that differentiated the PH from many other countries.

* GDP levels (constant 2018 prices):
2017 P17.18 Trillion
2018 P18.26 T
2019 P19.38 T
2020 P17.53 T. (source: PH Statistics Authority, PSA)
Or 2020 level was equivalent to 2017's, we lost three years of economic gains.

2. Economic impact, regional:

* Gross regional domestic product (GRDP), Region 6 (constant 2018 prices):
2017 P820.77 Billion
2018 P860.11 B
2019 P913.91 B
2020 P825.44 B.
Similar to the national, regional economic output was equivalent to 2017 level.

Region 6 hosts some of the most beautiful, most famous tourism destinations in the country. Boracay in Aklan, churches plazas in Iloilo, Guimaras resorts, mountain resorts and wide sugar plantations in Negros Occidental, etc.

* Accommodation, hotels, food services, Region 6:
2010 P 9.72 Billion
2018 P18.67 B
2019 P24.37 B
2020 P 9.90 B. Or sectoral output in 2020 was equivalent to 2010 level.

* Accommodation, hotels, etc., Region 6 has the highest improvement in the country in 2019 at 40% growth. But in 2020 has second biggest contraction at -57%.

3. Lockdown policies

* IATF should respect LGUs autonomy. The legal basis of IATF is under Bayanihan 1 law, enacted in March 25, 2020, and expired after about six months. Bayanihan 2 law may have extended its existence. But the LGUs, provinces, cities and municipalities have been empowered by the Local Govt Code (LGC) of 1991 to administer their localities. IATF imposes central planning, lockdown policies from Aparri to Tawi tawi.

* Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia insisted on her LGU power in balancing local economy and local healthcare. When cases deaths were low in Cebu compared with Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces, she ruled that arriving plane passengers from M.Manila need not present swab test results, which costs additional money for the people, plus time consumption of tests, getting the results. But IATF twisted the Cebu Governor's arms on this, insisted that LGUs should have uniform policies that conform with IATF national policies.

* The provincial Governors of Iloilo, Negros Occ., other provinces; the City Mayors of Bacolod, Iloilo, etc. should have the final say on degree or level of lockdown policies. If cases in their areas are falling, they can relax the lockdown to allow more economic activities and people mobility.

* The Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines (CDC PH) composed of many doctors and private citizens and professionals, is the primary organization arguing for lifting the lockdown via focused protection of the vulnerables (elderly, with comorbidities) and allow the people greater economic freedom.

Thank you, Junjun and Art, your staff, Aksyon Radyo Bacolod and Iloilo, for the opportunity to discuss these concerns and numbers with your listeners.

Lipay man ko maka diskurso sini nga mga butang sa aton mga ka probinsya kag rehiyon. Katulad nyo, palangga ko man aton rehiyon, especially gid sa Negros Occ kay dira ko natawo, nagdako, asta mag high school.

See also:
Covid 45, More stories on safety or non-safety of Covid vaccines, July 11, 2021 
Covid 46, Dr. Romy Quijano on vaccine and IVM (part 2), July 25, 2021 
Covid 47, Dra. Marivic Villa on IVM and Dr Salvana, July 29, 2021.

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