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Return to MECQ to cost P21B — Chua

Chito Lozada

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The community quarantines imposed to contain the coronavirus disease had derailed the momentum of the local economy which was destined to become a middle-income status had the crisis did not intervene.

Everyday of general community quarantine (GCQ) amounts to 700 million of foregone wages. If we don’t cooperate, we might go back to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) level that Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua estimated would cost the economy P21 billion in foregone income.

Findings of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus disease had revived talks of another lockdown. Chua noted the main worry of the government is the anxieties over the virus that still rules workers.

Public rides still off

He cited government figures that 50 percent of people do not take public transport that reduces the potential income in the sector specifically of jeepneys and buses.

“Some 30 percent of people did not go back to work, so that is a concern since where would 30 percent of families would get their livelihood?” Chua asked.

The progression of job creation was that in January to April, when the lockdowns started, 8.7 million jobs were lost, 7.5 million were recovered in July but 1.5 million individual again became jobless as a result of typhoons late in 2020, Chua said.

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