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PH companies feel the pinch

This year looks less rosy for some Filipino companies. As COVID-19 affects China and more countries reporting cases of the novel coronavirus disease, the tourism sector and the global supply chain are being disrupted.

Premier real estate developer Ayala Land Inc. early this week conceded that mall and hotel businesses suffered a 10-percent decline in the first six weeks of 2020 following the outbreak of the disease in China and the sudden eruption of Taal Volcano last month.

Foot traffic at Ayala shopping malls declined by up to 10 percent in the first one and a half months of 2020, as people avoided crowded places. The hotel business also dropped by up to 10 percent.

The country’s third major telecommunications player,  DITO Telecommunity Corp., reported that the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in Hubei, China would delay the rollout of cellular towers in the Philippines. DITO was about to import steel or tower components and fiber cable from Hubei province, China, to begin the rollout of its facilities. Hubei, the most affected by the virus outbreak, is one of the major manufacturing hubs of China. The province was under government lockdown to prevent the virus from spreading to other areas.

The solar power projects of MGEN Renewable Energy Inc., the renewable energy subsidiary of Meralco PowerGen Corp., are facing similar delays because of the impact of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 on solar panel production in China.

China is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of solar panels. The COVID-2019 outbreak in China has forced most manufacturing firms to suspend operations to help contain the virus.

The temporary travel ban on South Korea, meanwhile, will depress the Philippine tourism further as strict quarantine measures will, in turn, regulate the arrival of Koreans here.

Debt watcher S&P Global Ratings has reduced its 2020 growth forecast for the Philippines to 6.1 percent from the previous estimate of 6.2 percent amid the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease.

The virus outbreak may not be enough to make a dent on the Philippine economy this year. But authorities, especially the economic team, must draw up measures to prop up the economy like it did in 2019, when the delay in the approval of the budget curtailed growth and restricted government spending.

Topics: COVID-19 , China , Global Supply Chain , Tourism , Economy , S&P Global Ratings
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