Lawmaker: COVID-19 economic damage estimated at P3.4 trillion

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The Philippines experienced an economic damage estimated at P3.3 to 3.4 trillion this year as a result of the crippling COVID-19 pandemic and recent typhoons which devastated several areas in Luzon.

This estimation was reported by Marikina City 2nd District Rep. Stella Quimbo, who filed the proposed “Bayanihan to Arise as One Act” or Bayanihan 3 bill.

“Yung first nine months ng ating taong 2020 ay pagbagsak ang ating naranasan. Ang inaasahan natin, kabuuang pagbagsak. Ang sabi ng ating economic managers 5.5 percent,” Quimbo said.

[Our economy has dropped during the first nine months of 2020. So, we expect an overall loss. Our economic managers say, it’ll be by 5.5 percent.]

“Pero, sa totoo lang po, kahit anong gawin nating pag-forecast eh tila it’s going to be more than 5.5 percent, ang pagbagsak. At sinasabi ng ilang international agencies, pati na rin ng local banks, dahil may mga research sila, eh baka umabot ng 10 porsyento ang kabuuang pagbagsak ng buong taon,” she added.

[But the truth is, no matter how we forecast it, it appears it’s going to be more than 5.5 percent, the losses. Even international agencies and some banks, because they do their own research, estimate the overall loss to 10 percent for the entire year.]

Quimbo, who is an economist, filed the proposed Bayanihan 3 law, noting that the first two Bayanihan laws were not enough to address problems brought about by the pandemic.

The proposed legislation seeks to allocate P400 billion to assist households, workers and businesses affected by the pandemic (P330 billion) and for disaster response (P70 billion).

It will also extend the validity of Bayanihan 2 beyond Dec. 19, noting that the allotted P165 billion spending under it has not been used up yet.

Quimbo said funding for her proposed legislation can be sourced from the 2020 budget savings, as well as possible loans.

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