CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY- Food manufacturing, energy generation, agricultural outputs, online and ICT-related services, as well as, personal protective equipment and disinfectant productions all have been considered as resilient industries during this public health crisis, said NEDA-X Regional Director Mylah Faye Aurora B. Cariño, CESO III, during the 1st Semester 2021 Northern Mindanao Socioeconomic Media Forum on 30 June 2021.
In her regional economic situationer, Director Cariño presented the adverse effects of the recent lockdown measures to the local economy for the media and public’s information and guidance. Due to the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status of Cagayan de Oro City from 1 to 30 June 2021, Northern Mindanao’s economy is estimated to have lost between PhP2.56 to 3.88 billion for all sectors combined.
Hotel and accommodation, food services, and other tourism-industry related sectors were among the most affected, she noted, with estimated PhP166.809 million loss for said period.
Northern Mindanao’s economy already contracted by 5.2 percent in 2020, the worst performance in the region’s recent history, or an output loss of PhP 44.9 billion. The region, however ranked 3rd slowest in terms of economic contraction in the entire country.
Favorably, the per capita output of the region at PhP163,952 in 2020 emerges as second highest among all regions, following the National Capital Region, despite the downtrend in the wake of the pandemic and performing higher than the Philippines’ average of PhP161,137.
The diversified economic activities, resilient food manufacturing and agricultural sector, and other mitigating measures in the region helped cushioned the impacts of COVID-19 and kept the local economy afloat. Director Cariño also laid out strategies and ways forward to socioeconomic recovery. The three-pronged economic recovery strategy stipulated timely implementation of the vaccination program, full implementation of the recovery package, and safe reopening of the economy and strengthening prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, and recovery (PDITR) strategies.
In the said media forum, other sector experts also shed light on other economic drivers and initiatives seen as catalytic and imperative to move the region forward. Dr. David A. Mendoza, Medical Officer V of the Department of Health Center for Health Development – Northern Mindanao (DOH CHD-NM), highlighted that increasing the region’s testing capacity is key to reducing positive cases, as he discussed updates on the COVID-19 situation and vaccination program rollout, while Dir. Janith C. Aves, OIC-Regional Director of the Philippine Statistics Authority X, explained that the Philippine ID system targets seamless delivery of services and streamlined national identification. Moreover, Dir. Ruel B. Paclipan, OIC-Assistant Regional Director of the Department of Trade and Industry X, tackled the Bayanihan CARES Program Implementation, which is the government’s assistance to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises that are reeling from losses brought by the pandemic.