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LGUs obtain more funds to fight virus

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AT least P130 billion could be freed up from local government units’ (LGU) budgets to help them address the growing fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) after the National Government allowed them to use their development funds.
This, after some officials of LGUs expressed concern that their funds meant to respond to the pandemic might be depleted soon.
LGUs can now use 20% of their annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) on COVID-19-related expenses according to Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2020-001 issued by the Departments of Budget and Management (DBM) and Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Out of the P4.1-trillion spending plan for this year, LGUs were automatically allotted P648.921 billion in IRA, or their share in government revenues equivalent to 40% of national taxes collected three years before the current fiscal year. From their share, which is computed based on land area, population and type of LGU, local governments must allocate at least 20% for development projects or P129.784 billion in total for 2020.
DBM confirmed that P130 billion is the minimum amount LGUs should have allocated for their development fund this year.
It is up to the LGUs how much they are willing to use from the fund to finance their efforts against COVID-19, Budget Secretary Wendel E. Avisado said in a mobile phone message
Initially, this share could only be used for priority development projects under LGU’s approved local development plans and annual investment plan, which are programmed for socioeconomic and environmental development.
The coverage was expanded through the JMC dated March 27 to include COVID-19-related expenses, including the purchase of personal protective equipment, testing kits, medicines, vitamins, hospital tools and supplies, disinfectants, sprayers and other disinfecting supplies and equipment.
The fund can also be used on food, transportation and other expenses of health workers and other personnel involved in COVID-19 response, as well as on relief goods for affected families, construction of additional buildings to house the patients and those being monitored, mobile testing laboratories and temporary shelters for homeless and training of personnel for emergency response, among others.
“It is the responsibility of every local chief executive to ensure that the leeway and flexibility afforded on the utilization of the 20% development fund be optimally utilized for the benefit and welfare of constituent communities supporting measures and initiatives to provide basic needs of affected individuals and arrest the spread of COVID-19,” the circular posted yesterday.
But according to the circular, the funds should not be used for personnel service expenditures such as salaries, overtime pay and other benefits, for administrative and travel expenses, registration and participation fees for trainings and seminars, payment for furniture, equipment and appliances of administrative offices, as well as to buy or repair vehicles.
It said using the development fund for disallowed purposes, “whether wilfully or through negligence…shall be subject to the sanctions” under related laws.
DILG Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya first announced this move at a televised briefing on Saturday after the circular was signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año and DBM’s Mr. Avisado.
Mr. Malaya said there were reports that some mayors were worried that their quick response funds would get depleted soon.
LGUs were already given the go signal to use the P16-billion calamity fund to respond to the pandemic when the whole country was placed under a state of national calamity for six months.
The government rolled out an initial P27.1-billion economic funding package to help distressed sectors, while Republic Act No. 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act” signed last week allows the government to realign as much as P275 billion from the national budget and make off-budget outlays for COVID-19 relief measures. — Beatrice M. Laforga

Economy may shrink by as much as 1.9% — Nomura

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THE Philippine economy may contract by as much as 1.9% this year if the Luzon-wide lockdown is expanded nationwide and lasts until May, according to a report by Nomura Global Research.
In a note sent to reporters on Monday, Nomura said it has downgraded its 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast for the Philippines to 1.6% from the initial 5.6%, amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. This was its lowest forecast for the Philippines since the 2009 global financial crisis.
It also expects a 3% growth for the Philippines in a “good” case scenario, and a contraction of 1.9% in a “bad” case scenario.
Nomura said the 1.6% growth outlook assumes the Luzon-wide lockdown is lifted by mid-April, although economic activity is not likely to immediately normalize. It also took into account the sharp decline in global growth, especially in the country’s largest trading partners including China, the United States and Europe.
“This will also hurt overseas worker remittances more significantly than we previously thought, as worker deployment likely will be at a standstill, and worse, job losses especially among contract workers and seafarers (particularly those in cruise ships) will increase sharply,” the report said, adding this would put “significant downward pressure” on household consumption, which accounts for 68% of GDP.
“In addition, we believe President [Rodrigo R.] Duterte’s decision to place Manila and the entire island of Luzon under a lockdown will prove highly disruptive to overall economic activity, because Manila is the economic center and Luzon accounts for nearly 70% of GDP,” it said, citing continued supply chain challenges due to travel restrictions.
In its “bad” case scenario, Nomura assumes that fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will be “much more amplified,” pushing the Philippine economy into negative territory.
“Our assumption here, in addition to the external factors, is that social distancing measures locally are extended over Q2, with the lockdown lasting until May and expanded nationwide. The disruption in economic activity will be much more widespread, and nonlinear effects will kick in as a result of a combination of massive job losses, more insolvency problems particularly for SMEs, asset quality concerns of banks, which in turn will lead to tighter lending standards, and some bouts of social unrest,” Nomura said.
For this scenario, Nomura said it expects the government to widen the fiscal deficit to 5-6% of GDP, and an additional 50 basis points (bps) in policy rate cuts by the central bank. Another 200 bps in reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cuts is also seen.
On the other hand, the “good” case scenario shows GDP growth at 3%, assuming the lockdown is lifted as scheduled and a shallow recovery is seen in the second half.
The Philippines is bracing for a slowdown this year, amid the growing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the economy grew by 5.9%.
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said last week that GDP growth is estimated at 4.3% to -0.6%, depending if the pandemic is contained.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin E. Diokno has also said the economy could contract or settle at a 1% growth. — Luz Wendy T. Noble

Big fund managers buy PHL stocks in ‘mega sale’

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BIG Philippine money managers are cautiously plowing back money into the nation’s equities, seeing cheapened valuations as an opportunity they have been waiting for, although the market has yet to bottom out.
The Philippine Stock Exchange index climbed 10% last week, the most since 2009 and briefly entering what’s defined as bull territory on Friday, when gains from an eight-year low extended to 22%. The surge came as the nation unleashed monetary stimulus and fiscal spending packages of P775 billion ($15.2 billion) to avert a potential recession. The benchmark sank 2.6% on Monday, extending this year’s slump to more than 34%, one of the worst in the world.
The companies in the Philippine index now trade about 10 times earnings estimated in the next year, near the lowest level since 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. BDO Unibank, Inc., the biggest local private fund manager that has $20 billion in assets, favors companies that benefit from the epidemic and those that will quickly bounce back once the economy normalizes such as banks.
“This is the mega sale we have been waiting for,” said Fritz Ocampo, who manages $20 billion as chief investment officer at BDO. “Long-term investors look at this as a good time to accumulate their favored stocks. While infections will still rise, the market is now more forward looking after steps taken by the government.”
While the market’s recovery indicates a return of some confidence, fear remains high as the spread of the coronavirus continues and its economic toll has yet to be quantified, according to BDO, and PhilEquity Fund, one of the nation’s oldest mutual funds.
“We could reach levels that technically qualify as a bull market, but it’s hard to say we have already hit bottom,” Mr. Ocampo said. “Business and consumer confidence haven’t been restored yet, while the real economy is still struggling.”
Amid the caution, Mr. Ocampo likes telecom stocks on expectation that data demand is picking up as people stay home, and retailers that benefit from continued purchases of basic goods and will further gain when consumer demand recovers once the outbreak is contained.
Local buyers are driving the market’s rebound from its recent low as foreigners have been selling Philippine shares at the fastest pace since 1999, when Bloomberg began tracking the data. Except for two sessions, overseas funds pulled out money every day this month, bringing this year’s withdrawals to over $633 million.
“Those willing to overlook bad economic numbers in the short term are slowly coming in,” said Wilson Sy, a fund manager and founder of PhilEquity Fund, which started in 1994.
Mr. Sy favors the biggest companies in the index. “Some are anticipating a V-shaped recovery when the stimulus kicks in. The drop was sharp and quick so the bounce is bound to be the same.” — Bloomberg

P31 billion allocated for food sufficiency measures

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THE government is allocating P31 billion for measures that would ensure there is enough food supply during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) said it has approved a P31-billion supplemental budget for the Agriculture department’s national “Plant, Plant, Plant Program.”
The supplemental budget will now only require President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s approval, as part of the special authority granted to him under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“It is part of his special powers based on the new law — to realign the budget,” DA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Noel O. Reyes said in a mobile message.
The DA’s program, also known as Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat (ALPAS) Kontra sa COVID-19, is also geared towards making basic agricultural commodities more accessible and affordable, amid the ongoing spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“In all, we have enough food for the next two months. We are enhancing needed measures to ensure food security and strong cooperation with all sectors, most particularly with all provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and barangay leaders in ensuring the unhampered transport of agricultural products and farm and fishery inputs, including movement of farmers, fishers, and workers in the food value chain,” Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar was quoted as saying in the statement.
The biggest slice of the supplemental budget will go to the DA’s Rice Resiliency Project at P7.5 billion.
Another P7 billion will be allotted for the palay procurement fund of the National Food Authority (NFA), while P3 billion each or a total of P9 billion will go to providing financial assistance for farmers affected by the drop in farmgate prices; expanded agriculture insurance coverage; and social amelioration to farmers, fishers, and farm workers.
The Agriculture department will also allocate P1 billion each for six projects, including the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita program livestock and corn resiliency program; and coconut-based diversification project. Other projects include the “expanded small ruminants and poultry project: fisheries resiliency program; and revitalized gulayan” project.
“We need to improve efficiencies in production and enhance projects and activities to ensure affordability and availability of food supply,” Mr. Dar said.
Moreover, P500 million will be allocated for protective personal equipment (PPE) like surgical masks for the DA, while another P500 million will go to the urban agriculture project.
A corn-for-food project will get P300 million, while P200 million will be allocated for the DA’s information, education, and communication project. — RMDO

Metro Pacific forms COVID-19 crisis team

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THE HOSPITAL unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) has stepped up its response to the pandemic by forming a crisis team and designating one of its hospitals as a referral facility for those positive of the deadly virus.
In a statement yesterday, Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI) said it was increasing efforts to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through the newly formed team.
“The country’s health care system faces unprecedented challenges… Our Hospitals Group are focusing their resources on critical concerns — particularly hospital care for the most critically-ill patients infected by COVID-19,” MPIC Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said in the statement.
“At the same time, we aim to provide every assistance possible to our doctors, nurses and healthcare personnel to protect their well-being and safety as they courageously pursue their enormously difficult task of caring for patients,” he added.
MPHHI’s network of 16 hospitals is joining efforts to mitigate the mounting cases of COVID-19. It designated Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila as the main COVID-19 referral facility. The other 15 hospitals in its network will explore opportunities to double capacities to more than 600 beds for COVID-19 patients.
The hospitals in MPHHI’s network include Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, De Los Santos Medical Center, Manila Doctors Hospital, Sacred Heart Hospital of Malolos, Dr. Jesus C. Delgado Memorial Hospital, and Marikina Valley Medical Center.
In the event that the situation worsens, MPHHI said it was planning supplemental tents for non-critical COVID-19 cases.
The Department of Health reported 1,418 cases, 71 deaths and 42 recoveries from COVID-19 as of Sunday.
Shares in MPIC at the stock exchange shed 20 centavos or 7.69% to P2.40 each yesterday.
MPIC is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., maintains an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group. — Denise A. Valdez

PHL may go into recession — Diokno

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THE Philippine economy could go into recession this year, central bank Governor Benjamin E. Diokno said on Sunday, as the coronavirus pandemic brings everything to a standstill.
“We’re looking at negative to maybe 1% [growth] given this development,” he told the ABS-CBN News Channel.
The global economy has now entered a recession — a period of economic decline where output falls for two successive quarters — that could be as bad or worse than the 2009 downturn, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Friday.
Countries needed to boost spending as a safeguard against bankruptcies and possible market debt defaults, she told a news briefing.
“It is now clear that we have entered a recession as bad or worse than in 2009,” Ms. Georgieva said. “This is a very big crisis and it’s not going to be sorted out without a very massive deployment of resources.”
“Seems about right, but still to be collectively agreed by the economic team,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto M. Pernia said in a mobile phone message, referring to Mr. Diokno’s growth estimate.
Mr. Diokno said the economy might still grow by 3% in the first quarter because the Luzon-wide quarantine took effect in the last two weeks of March.
“The second quarter will probably be negative, the third quarter, maybe around negative also and then we start picking up by the fourth quarter,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas chief said.
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority said economic growth might be -0.6% to 4.3% this year. The government had originally targeted growth of 6.5-7.5% this year from 5.9% last year.
The central bank has cut its benchmark rate by 50 basis points (bps) and eased rules for banks. It is also buying P300 billion in government securities.
The Monetary Board also cut the reserve requirement ratio for universal and commercial lenders by 200 bps to 12% effective today.
The policy-setting body has authorized Mr. Diokno to slash the ratio by as much as 400 bps this year amid the pandemic.
Before the outbreak, Mr. Diokno pledged to bring down the ratio to a single digit by the end of his term in 2023. That could happen sooner given the situation, he said.
“If necessary, we are willing to cut it to 10%,” Mr. Diokno said.
Last week, it remitted in advance P20 billion in dividends to the National Government to help it deal with the health crisis even if it is not required anymore under the New Central Bank Act.
Mr. Diokno said the government needs more stimulus on the fiscal side since monetary measures were not enough.
“We’ve done a lot on the monetary side,” he said. The government needs more fiscal measures “than what is done so far.”
President Rodrigo R. Duterte earlier signed into law a measure giving him special powers against the outbreak, including realigning as much as P275 billion in funds.
His economic team earlier announced a P27.1-billion package to help frontliners fight the coronavirus pandemic and provide economic relief to affected sectors.
Mr. Diokno said there was no need to borrow from the IMF because aid from the Asian Development Bank was enough.
INFLATION
Meanwhile, inflation could ease to 2.4% this month after oil prices dropped.
“Food prices are very stable, plus with the price freeze, I think we’re very comfortable,” he said. “Oil prices have come down below $30 per barrel from $85 per barrel so we’re okay with inflation,” he added.
Inflation in February slowed to 2.6% from 2.9% in January and 3.8% a year earlier due to lower food, transport and utility prices.
BSP this month lowered its 2020 inflation forecast to 2.2% from 3% and the 2021 forecast to 2.4% from 2.9%.
This brought the outlook for both years closer to the lower end of the central bank’s 2-4% target. — Luz Wendy T. Noble and Beatrice M. Laforga

ADB approves $5-M emergency grant for PHL fight vs virus

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THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $5-million emergency grant for the Philippines’ fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Finance (DoF) said on Sunday.
In a statement, the DoF quoted ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa as saying the funds will allow the Philippines to leverage private sector donations for a food distribution program for Luzon’s poorest households.
Set to be launched as early as next week, the program will be implemented by the Departments of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), in coordination with the DoF.
The Manila-based multilateral lender also committed to fast-track the approval of a $1-billion quick budget support loan via the proposed COVID-19 pandemic response option of ADB’s Counter Cyclical Support Facility.
Mr. Asakawa said the ADB will also speed up approval of the $150-million additional funding for government’s Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program (4Ps) and the $100-million emergency project loan for additional health care facilities and procurement of much-needed equipment such as ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE).
He said the bank will also work on the fast approval of another $500-million loan to further expand its social assistance project for the country’s 4Ps program.
The DoF statement quoted Mr. Asakawa as praising the government’s “proactive and preemptive response in containing the community transmission of COVID-19” in a conversation with Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III.
Mr. Dominguez said they can also tap the ADB for technical assistance for the government’s “recovery” plan.
“What good will be a stimulus if there are no workers. We must think of the workers first. So, we need measures in order for the Philippines to bounce back for the inevitable turnaround. And we would like to ask technical assistance from ADB for that,” Mr. Domiguez said.
Mr. Asakawa said the ADB is currently expanding the coverage of its $500-million Contingent Disaster Facility to include health emergencies. Earlier, the multilateral lender approved the initial $3-million grant for the Philippines to buy needed medical supplies, PPEs for health workers and testing kits. The funds will also be used to procure a new laboratory with diagnostic equipment for Jose Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in Pampanga.
The ADB had said that a “large assistance package” worth at least $1.6 billion will be delivered to the Philippines “within weeks” to help the government respond to the worldwide health crisis.
The Finance chief earlier said they are aiming to seek additional $1-2 billion worth of funding assistance from multilateral agencies.
Separately, Mr. Dominguez told reporters via Viber that they will consider the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) plan of boosting infrastructure investment, particularly in the health care sector to “future-proof” the country’s own health care system.
BORROWING MIX
With the new loans, National Treasurer Rosalia V. de Leon said the country’s borrowing mix will likely be revised. A 75:25 borrowing mix in favor of domestic sources was originally planned for 2020.
Ms. De Leon told reporters via Viber that borrowings from domestic sources might be “lower than 75,” although the revised ratio is still up for Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) approval.
At the same time, Ms. De Leon said they are expecting to receive today the P300-billion payment from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the government securities it had purchased to help boost government’s coffers.
“We finalized MOA (memorandum of agreement) with BSP on repo (on Friday) and provided GS (government securities). Will confirm on Monday credit of P300 billion to our account,”
The BSP is buying P300 billion worth of debt from the Bureau of the Treasury under a three-month repurchase agreement, which is renewable for another there months.
Ms. De Leon said the Treasury continues to “closely” monitor the dollar bond market after the US Federal Reserve fired off $2 trillion stimulus package last week. — BML

Pandemic expected to weaken job market

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By Carmina Angelica V. OlanoResearcher
JOSEPH LAGUERTA, 32, has been trying to get as many odd jobs as possible to replace the daily income of P650 he used to get as a carpenter in Makati City.
Since the implementation of a Luzon-wide quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, he has tried looking for other jobs in Cavite.
“So long as I can bike my way to it, I will take any job. Fortunately, I still receive job orders from time to time… Somehow, my family manages to get by,” he said in Filipino.
But now with his barangay under total lockdown, Mr. Laguerta cannot even go out anymore, except to buy groceries and medicine.
The Philippine economy may decline by as much as 0.6% this year, the National Economic and Development Authority said in its report “Addressing the Social and Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
Job losses are estimated between 116,000 to 1.8 million as the economy stands to lose between P428.7 billion to P1.36 trillion in gross value added or equivalent to 2.1%-6.6% of its nominal gross domestic product (GDP) this year.
“There is no one who is not affected by COVID-19. Everyone is affected due to its social, economic, emotional, psychological and spiritual strain,” Alvin P. Ang, an economics professor at the Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), said in an e-mail.
University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) School of Economics Dean Cid L. Terosa said via e-mail that those in the informal sector and daily wage earners “will be the ones most affected.”
“We have wage workers who are considered semiformal or non-regular employees, like the drivers of transport network vehicle services like Grab and Angkas, or any commission-based workers who cannot go out and do their usual source of income,” Rene O. Ofreneo, professor emeritus at the University of the Philippines (UP), said in phone interview.
“All of a sudden, the Philippines is facing an employment crisis in different fronts, even after we surpass COVID-19, restarting the labor market will remain a problem,” he said.
Around 35% of the country’s employment came from the informal sector, according to the January 2020 round of the Philippine Statistics Authority’s Labor Force Survey (LFS). Of these, 26.2% were self-employed without any paid employee; 2.4% were employers of their own family-operated farm or business; and 6.2% are working without pay in their own family-operated farm or business.
To aid workers during the Luzon-wide quarantine, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) earlier announced the immediate roll out of P1.3 billion worth of COVID-19 adjustment measures to help about 250,000 workers. Likewise, a P180-million emergency employment program will be given to some 18,000 disadvantaged or displaced workers in the informal sector.
The government also announced a P27.1-billion relief package to aid affected sectors. This will go to programs for upskilling and reskilling of temporarily-displaced workers, zero-interest loans for small farmers and fisherfolk, wage subsidies or financial support for affected workers and firms, unemployment benefits and loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
However, analysts said the government should do more to further protect workers.
UP’s Mr. Ofreneo highlighted the central role of the government in a “whole-of-society” approach of providing social protection during the ongoing crisis.
“The government should save everybody, especially the workers. There should be a registry of employees identifying who are in the formal and informal sectors, at least per local government unit,” he said.
The whole-of-society approach refers to joint efforts of government agencies and the private sector in providing a common solution to a problem.
“It is understandable that daily wage earners need to be given priority as they will be the most vulnerable among workers. DoLE is on the right track, but they may need more resources for the program they rolled for the affected work force,” ADMU’s Mr. Ang said.
Mr. Ang said that during the community quarantine, the public and private sectors’ “resources should be coordinated and put to best use.”
“The public and private sectors can work together by funding logistics and movement of people within cities. Delivery services of food and essentials, mobility of health workers and other frontliners service such as those in supermarkets, drug stores, wet markets, security personnel should be subsidized and organized uniformly across the country. This should help keep afloat the public transport sector especially the daily earners,” he said.
For UA&P’s Mr. Terosa, the government’s stimulus package for workers “may not be sufficient.”
“If GDP will fall by 0.6-1 percentage point (ppt), around 30,000 to 50,000 jobs will be directly lost. The stimulus package may create only 15,000 to 17,000 jobs,” he said.
Aside from direct losses, Mr. Terosa also pointed to “disastrous” opportunity costs caused by the pandemic: “If GDP will fall by 0.6-1 ppt, 300,000 to 500,000 jobs would not be created and P500-800 billion pesos worth of goods would not be produced. Imagine that,” he said.
OUTLOOK
The latest LFS result puts the country’s unemployment rate at 5.3% and the underemployment rate at 14.8%, both of which were the lowest among the January rounds of the LFS since 2005.
This would most likely not be the case this year, economists said.
“Definitely unemployment figures will rise. Even if temporary, we might see a double-digit increase,” UP’s Mr. Ofreneo said.
UA&P’s Mr. Terosa said the low unemployment and underemployment rates will be not be maintained in the first half.
“First-quarter unemployment and underemployment rates will be slightly above last year’s rates, but [the second-quarter] unemployment rate can hover close to double-digits while underemployment rate can soar close to 18-20%,” he said.
“I believe that we need to wage war against the virus first and win the economic battle later… As long as the spread of the disease is palpably rampant, there is nothing much that everyone can do,” said Mr. Terosa said.

PhilSTAR group launches ‘Tala Para sa Kapwa’

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THE enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) due to the coronavirus outbreak has disrupted the lives of many, including the informal sector, homeless and contractual workers. Frontliners also face heightened risks due to the lack of proper protective personal equipment.
This is why the PhilSTAR Media Group (PMG) launched its corporate social responsibility campaign titled “Tala Para sa Kapwa,” a hybrid fund-raising and an information campaign in conjunction with PMG’s humanitarian arm, Operation Damayan.
Target recipients of the project include communities that have suffered the most due to the ECQ, and frontliners who continue to work.
The Philippine STAR, through Operation Damayan, last week turned over relief goods to Manila and Quezon City with the help of cash donations from Ayala Corp., Metrobank Foundation, Roberto Coyiuto, family of Iñigo Zobel and Anthony Trillo.
Aside from donations of essential goods, PMG will also ramp up its information campaign to provide helpful and accurate information on COVID-19. These will include video explainers, native articles, social media art cards and a COVID Watch Page print special.
PMG is composed of The Philippine STAR, Pilipino STAR Ngayon, Pang-Masa, The Freeman, Banat and BusinessWorld.
With your help, Tala Para Sa Kapwa can give hope in these trying times. Donations may be deposited to: Philstar Daily, Inc./Operation Damayan Metrobank Savings Account No. 151-7-15152422-9.