CEBU CITY – Mandaue City, an industrial hub just north of this city, is now seeing business recovery picking up, slowly reeling from the economic downturn, a business leader here said.
Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Steven Yu said the business community in the city is moving forward towards recovery.
Being the industrial hub of Cebu province, Mandaue has managed to “balance out” the economic challenges brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 crisis that has hurt tourism and retail businesses.
“We are now on GCQ (general community quarantine). Businesses have started to reopen and the industries have started to ramp up their capacities,” Yu said during a virtual interview hosted by the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas.
While the city has not been spared from the adverse economic impact of the Covid-19 crisis, he said Mandaue “is blessed to have a strong industrial base”.
He said a big part of the city’s industrial sector includes manufacturers of essential goods and services, which are in demand during the community quarantine.
Mandaue is home to a number of processed food manufacturers and exporters.
“Although we have tourism and retail shops that were affected but at least it was balanced out with our industrial businesses and BPOs (business process outsourcing),” he said.
The pandemic has significantly slowed down economic activities in the city during the April to May period, he added.
“Recovery is in progress now but much still needs to be done to return to pre-Covid levels,” Yu said.
Industrial companies in Mandaue have been operating at an average 70-percent capacity in recent months, although this is a little bit lower compared to pre-Covid levels, he said.
While the business community is hopeful on the continued recovery of the economy, Yu said “vigilance is very much needed looking ahead” as most businesses now operate in the new normal environment.
Jun Sa-a, managing director of the Cebu IT-BPM (Information Technology-Business Process Management) Organization, echoed the same sentiment, saying the outsourcing sector, one of Cebu’s strong economic drivers, has entered a new normal where remote work is encouraged.
While some companies resume office operations as quarantine measures further ease, Sa-a projected that a work-from-home scheme would still remain vital in the new working environment nowadays.
The outsourcing industry, which includes call centers, is one of the essential industries that have been allowed to operate amid the community quarantine.