Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Philippine Economy and the "New Normal"

I have not been writing for the past few months and have been busy from other things that could detoxify and  destress myself  from this pandemic brought about by COVID-19 that has been trending with almost millions all over the globe were infected with this novel (new) virus. It not only affected production from manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, and services but including private and public sector. 
Our country's predicted economic outlook for the first half of 2020 looks bright pre-COVID-19 days.  In the three months of economic halt, thousands of jobs where lost in the country alone with micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSME) are and even big businesses with over 10 up to 50 years of existence are heavily affected with this pandemic and have closed their doors to their employee with low demand for such products and services. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) from land based and sea based agency are not spared with such crash and an exodus of them have moved back to our country after their recent job loss in their host countries. A foreseeable depression was predicted by  local and international financial experts and the local banking sector that we are hoping it is a wrong prediction that economic recovery is incremental to health recovery of the citizenry of this country alone.

In a recent article stated by Prof. Solita "Mareng Winnie" Monsod in the Philippine Daily Inquirere, the current economic recession is far worst contraction from what was felt in 1984 -1985 (Marcos Years) and 1990 (Cory Aquino regime) as it  drops from 16.5%.
Inter-Agency Task For COVID 19 Response has implemented directives to Local Government Units to implement Mask On Policy when outside of their residences in order for the public that the battle against COVID 19 is not yet finished. Enforcement of such laws are directed also to the police and apprehended people over the past month and were fined for such offenses in the public. There were issues also protested against the authorities effort in combating this diseases and had experience lapses and lacking of prioritization in stopping the spread which were voiced out by critics even the experts in the public health when the combating this pandemic. Some argued that politicking is happening from our politicians with the ongoing health crisis and no concrete was given out in the recent SONA.

The healthcare sector is overburdened with patients coming in with the government policy on implementing an allocation of 30% bed capacity for afflicted with COVID-19. The University of the Philippines statistical analysis (OCTA) on predicition and modelling did not reach the limit but it can be breach to above 80,000 or so of positive cases with the majority coming from Metro Manila, Cebu and Laguna with dense population and number of factories located in the area. The healthcare workers requested for a two-week Modified Enhance Community Quarantine (MECQ) but was later granted by the government which has started back from midnight of  the 4th until the 18th of August 2020.

Although vaccines are still on their final phase of testing by scientist from Oxford University and AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company. Their recent news and discovery has given some hope for mankind with "at cost" sale of the said COVID 19 vaccines urgently needed by the people of the world as of this writing. Other companies from China and USA have also reported their third phase on the finding the solution against SARS-COV 2 (COVID 19).

Real estate industry is heavily affected with this pandemic with slump in sales of residential condominiums in one recent webinar by Colliers Philippines, the residential condominiums in Metro Manila might go down at 15% decrease in prices. Default in payments of rental / lease in commercial establishments due to their closure. However, demand for real estate properties have been surging with intention of those residing in Metro Manila with family relation and affinity in the provinces with the "Balik Probinsya Program provided by the national government. They are moving out of National Capital Region (NCR) because of the lack of opportunities due to job loss happening in the country. Other companies who are still operating have shifted to teleconferencing on a work from home arrangements with employers.

Demand for agricultural land was also being sought after by those living in the city that they have the intention of using it as their hideaway or for personal food production and security because unforeseen future. 

I am hoping that immediate and best solutions to problems will be dealt with the soonest solution with balanced view in economic recovery and health security to be seen and felt in God's time.

About the Writer

 CRB Benedict Baluyutt is a professional real estate broker, real estate appraiser and associate of C. F. Baluyut Realty. He is currently the Vice President for External Affairs, Real Estate Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (REBAP) - Pampanga Chapter. You can get in touch with him at https://www.cfbaluyutrealty.com.


16.5-percent GDP drop: What went wrong? https://bit.ly/3gA2ZeF
AstraZeneca targets year end for COVID-19 vaccine https://bit.ly/2XDZRXy
Metro Manila’s condominium and retail sectors amid COVID-19  https://bit.ly/3klJtVH
Duterte heeds frontliners’ plea, reimposes MECQ in Metro Manila, other areas Aug. 4 -18  https://bit.ly/2CdPBxY

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