There’s no telling when the coronavirus pandemic will finally leave the face of the earth as more and more cases are being known as the days and weeks progress. There’s also no denying the grave hit that the economy is going to take as businesses are shut down and Philippine jobs are lost.
More and more businesses are sending their personnel home, with forced leave agreements or, for the more lucky ones, work from home arrangements. As the days go by, businesses are working with a skeletal workforce. This has left many people out of work.
With the virus not known to stop spreading anytime soon, how badly will it be affecting the variety of industries in the Philippines, not to mention on a global scale?
The Labor Situation
The Labor Group in the country warns that about 7,000 Filipinos may lose their jobs over the next six months as companies are likely to be hit by the outbreak of coronavirus disease.
The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) expects more employees to lose their jobs. This is following the decision of one of the biggest airline industries in the Philippines to lay off 300 employees as more countries enforce travel bans on coronavirus, formally known as COVID-19.
Global travel and tourism have already been hit worldwide — worth US$8 trillion or 10% of the GDP. And the Philippines will eventually be affected by tourism as the GDP of the country accounts for around 450 trillion pesos, or approximately 5% of the GDP, according to Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning Ernesto Pernia.
As China was the Philippines’ second-largest source of visitors last year, the prevalent travel prohibition from the country will probably reduce economic development by 11 million pesos within a single month. This is with a 10% drop in visitor numbers from other nations.
The Administration’s Actions
The administration has directed us to remain indoors and self-quarantine to avoid coronavirus spread. Organizations also demanded that their workers operate from home.
There is a ban on large gatherings. Because of constraints and concerns, people do not fly, take trains, dine, stay in hotels, or engage in concerts or sporting events. These patterns will continue even after the outbreak has gone away.
Who will thrive more than the others? It will be the online businesses that don’t rely on locations in retail, health care providers, grocery chains. Especially those with a substantial online presence.
Other companies that will do well include pharmaceutical firms working on disease cures, technology companies, and services that provide homework and delivery.
The Economic Effects
Department stores, malls, and niche retailers may lose revenue and workforce losses because customers will not leave their homes. Big retailers in clothing, make-up, and other lifestyle brands will be taking a hit. Or worse, they may announce the closing of their stores. This will cause a significant number of retail employees to lose their jobs.
There are a variety of other industries in which employment may be significantly lower. Companies in the travel, hotel, airline, sporting events, concerts, and restaurant sectors will be hurt dramatically.
Each of these has a ripple effect. Airlines, aircraft manufacturers, and their vendors, resorts, hotels, restaurants, sporting events, cruise ships, conferences, and music concerts will have a negative effect.
With the abrupt termination of operations, businesses in these regions will have to reduce the number of their staff or cut their working hours drastically. A lot of companies may not make it and may shut down altogether.
Many people say that the government should have thought of strategies to salvage these industries. Especially on how to help their workers get up after the virus subsides. This massive hit will be affecting the workers across various industries.
The economy will inevitably face a big hit with all the closures and the lay-offs. The physical distancing will benefit some, but mostly, it will destroy opportunities.
If there’s no decline in the number of cases anytime soon, big businesses will have to sacrifice workers. This ripple effect will inevitably affect all people from all walks of life.
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