March 3, 2024

The Cordillera has recorded P18,687,546,030.25 economic loss during the community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

Out of the 18.6B, the government has incurred P3,027,547,536 in expenses to respond to the pandemic. This comprises the national government’s support to the region for subsidies to low income families and to local government units whose budgets in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic went beyond their budget for disaster response.  

In the impact assessment report of the Cordillera Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CRDRRMC) presented to Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. on May 21, the agency said the economic loss corresponds to 4.8 percent decline in the gross regional domestic product (GRDP) target for 2020.

The productive sector showed P11,280,652,455.86 loss or about 60.36 percent of the total estimated losses.

The productive sector covers the labor and employment; micro, small, and medium enterprises; cooperatives; agriculture and fisheries; tourism and culture; transportation; industry; and services subsectors.

The losses were due to the temporary closure or partial operation of establishments resulting in temporary unemployment, limited mobility, suspension of festivities and other tourism-related activities, non-operation of accommodation facilities, suspension of all forms of transportation, and decline in production at the Baguio Export Processing Zone.

Losses refer to the value of foregone income flows that were affected, such as promotion decline, reduced incomes, and increased expenditures over a period of time. 

Estimated losses in the social sector is valued at P753,596,490.88 or 4.03 percent of the total losses reported due to the pandemic.

Those in the social sector are the education, health and nutrition, and social protection sub-sectors.

Losses in the social sector is attributed to release of public funds for social amelioration programs, assistance to individuals in crisis situations, sustainable livelihood programs, livelihood assistance grant, and augmentation of food and non-food items to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, especially to the poor, vulnerable, and marginalized sectors.

For the infrastructure sector, the total of losses was P3,625,749,564.15 or about 18.40 percent of the estimated losses in the region.

Those in the infrastructure sector are transportation (roads), communication, and health subsectors.

The losses are due to suspension of ongoing road projects and delay in the purchase of communications equipment and provision of Internet connectivity in the Cordillera.

The cross sector refers to expenses the government incurred in responding to the pandemic. 

The CRDRRMC also reported that many LGUs in the region have used up their quick response funds in responding mainly to the pandemic.

Citing the report of the Bureau of Local Government and Finance on the use of local DRRM funds, a total of P1,033,568,253.82 is allotted for the local disaster risk reduction management fund of all LGUs. Of the amount, P319,826,998.39 is allotted as quick response fund.

The BLGF said that as of April 30, P180,826,320.46 was already spent mainly for Covid-19 response operations.

Citing the same report of the BLGF, the CRDRRMC said LGUs are now using the Bayanihan funds, as their remaining quick response funds have been reserved for possible response operations at the onset of the rainy season.

The CRDRRMC reported that P9,252,594,472.49 is needed for the recovery of all sectors.

Concerned LGUs and agencies were furnished copies of the report to be used as basis in the formulation of a regional recovery and resiliency plan and financing strategies. – Rimaliza A. Opiña