MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has estimated that the country lost 1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) during the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in National Capital Region (NCR) and four nearby provinces.
During the Laging Handa public briefing Thursday, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the economic loss due to the half-a-month ECQ in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal (NCR Plus) is equivalent to PHP180 billion.
Earlier, Lopez said around 1.5 million Filipinos had no jobs during the ECQ in NCR Plus, and only 500,000 jobs were brought back when the quarantine classification for areas was downgraded to a less strict modified ECQ (MECQ).
“We want to see lower Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases and lower utilization rate of (Covid-19 beds) before we ease the status to GCQ (general community quarantine),” he said in Filipino.
The DTI chief also downplayed speculation that the reopening of economic activities and business establishments became the ‘super spreader’ of Covid-19.
To manage the rate of infection of the coronavirus, Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will not allow high-risk and non-essential activities and gatherings.
He added the government must slow down the daily Covid-19 cases while increasing the health care capacity to relax community quarantine status in the NCR Plus.
“If we go back to GCQ, of course, we can bring back more jobs,” Lopez said. (PNA)