The Luzon-wide quarantine could spare the economy from entering into a possible recession.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda explained the importance of implementing an “orderly lockdown” to prevent a community transmission of the highly-infectious coronavirus disease.
“The virus thrives through economic activity, so we need to temporarily halt economic activity,” Salceda said.
He stressed that while the month-long quarantine was expected to result in economic losses, a mass transmission would cost the economy even more.
“If we don’t implement a quarantine and there will be mass community transmission, we will lose confidence in the system. There could be a possible recession. If we didn’t implement the lockdown, we could enter into recession,” he said.
The Bicolano lawmaker said the Luzon-wide quarantine could help the country’s economy remain among one of fastest growing economies in the world despite the pandemic.
“In my opinion, the Philippines can still grow faster than other countries in the world by a GDP growth rate of at least three percen),” he said.
Sallceda said stopping economic activity in Luzon for a month due to Covid-19 costs P1.157 trillion or 2.57-percent economic losses.
Luzon’s economic share is about 74 percent of GDP.
Earlier, economic managers said the impact of Covid-19 is likely to slow the country’s GDP growth to five percent this year, below the 6.5-percent to 7.5-percent target.
President Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12 requiring residents to strictly stay indoors and limit movement to accessing basic necessities.
The only establishments that remain operational are involved in the production of basic necessities such as food, pharmacies, banks or remittance centers, and basic utilities such as water, electricity, internet, and telecommunications. garbage collection, funeral and internment services, and gasoline stations also remain open.
Those exempted are uniformed personnel, health workers, emergency and other mission-critical services, and media personnel with accreditation from the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
All forms of mass transportation are suspended.
In the Philippines, the Department of Health reported a total of 380 confirmed cases, 25 deaths, and 15 recoveries.
As the world struggles to respond to the health crisis, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that a global recession “perhaps of record dimensions” was a near certainty.
To date, confirmed Covid-19 cases surged past 300,000 globally with nearly 13,000 deaths.