By Anthony Pagapulaan

PHOTO: Trip the Islands

Hundreds of billions of pesos and hundreds of jobs from the country's economy are believed to be endangered for each week that Metro Manila is placed under the sternest quarantine classification, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) claimed Friday.

Metro Manila will be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20, with additional restrictions the week before, potentially resulting in losses of at least P210 billion.

“Each week of ECQ in NCR (National Capital Region) will cost the economy P105 billion. Also increase[s] poor people by up to 177,000 and 444,000 more without jobs,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua said, noting its agency's newest assessments.

The economic agency chief drew statements after the Palace has assigned placing NCR under ECQ with the growing number of Delta variant infections.

Metro Manila, in the meantime, is under general community quarantine (GCQ) with "heightened and additional restrictions” until August 5.

However, Chua said that these adverse effects can be "reversed" if the three weeks (of GCQ and ECQ) will be mitigated "to accelerate vaccination" in areas where there is a growing infection rate.

“This way, the ECQ will be an investment to pave the way for a recovery once we control Delta spread,” the country’s chief economist said.

He also assured cash aids coming from the government will "mitigate the impact," which was countered by Palace saying that there is no budget for another trench yet for ECQ areas.

Imposing of ECQ only allows essential travels and services, while GCQ with heightened restrictions and additional restrictions protocol bans indoor and al fresco dining.

The Metro Manila mayors met with the Inter-agency Task Force against COVID-19 to advocate ECQ in the entire region.

Report source: GMA News