Philippine economy

Philippine economy to gain P9.4 billion per week under Alert Level 1

Ralf Rivas
Philippine economy to gain P9.4 billion per week under Alert Level 1

ALERT LEVEL 1. An influx of commuters is seen at the Light Rail Transit Line 1 in Manila on March 1, 2022.

Rappler

The shift of 39 areas in the country to Alert Level 1 is expected to benefit the tourism sector the most

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine economy is estimated to gain P9.4 billion per week, as Metro Manila and 38 other areas have shifted to Alert Level 1, the most relaxed pandemic status.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Chua on Tuesday, March 1, said 20.3 million workers or 48% of the country’s total workforce will benefit from the reopening.

The shift will also mean 170,000 fewer unemployed workers over the next quarter.

Should the entire country be lowered to Alert Level 1, economic benefits would increase to P16.5 billion per week in gross value-added terms. This would also result in 297,000 fewer unemployed workers over the next quarter.

State economists earlier estimated that Alert Level 3 cost the economy P3 billion per week of lockdown, while Alert Level 2 resulted in a P3.6-billion gain per week.

The tourism sector is expected to be the biggest gainer under Alert Level 1. 

“The contribution of domestic tourism to the economy fell by P1.5 trillion or 7.4% of the GDP (gross domestic product) in 2020. We can recover at least half of that or P750 billion by shifting to Alert Level 1,” Chua said. 

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Chua also noted that the resumption of face-to-face classes will be good for the economy.

The National Economic and Development Authority estimated that face-to-face learning would generate P12 billion per week, as services around schools such as transport, dormitories, restaurants, and school supplies stores resume operations.

Chua emphasized that the lifting of quarantine restrictions must be synchronized with the resumption of face-to-face classes to reap the economic benefits of Alert Level 1 status.

“Alert Level 1 is not fully implementable if working parents need to stay home to help their children study. Resuming face-to-face learning is expected to free up the time of one-fourth of parents who skip work or reduce work time to accompany their children in home learning,” Chua said. – Rappler.com

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.