According to the October 2020 Economic Update for East Asia and the Pacific published by the World Bank, the Philippines will take a longer time to recuperate from COVID-19’s economic impacts in comparison with the majority of East Asia and the Pacific region. The multilateral lender projects a full-year contraction of 6.9 percent for the Philippines, significantly greater than last June’s 1.6 percent forecast.
What This Means for the Country
Rong Qian, a World Bank senior economist, foresees that Philippines will only experience pre-pandemic levels of economic growth by the 4th quarter of 2021. This timeline is comparatively lengthier than our neighboring countries. Our economy is heavily reliant on global trade, tourism, and remittances – industries that have experienced great economic impact from the pandemic.
Other countries in the region that have successfully contained the virus and have solid domestic economies, such as Vietnam and China, are expected to bounce back sooner. Thailand, on the other hand, will post a contraction of 8.3% despite effectively suppressing the coronavirus. This is due to the country’s heavy trade and tourism industries.
The “New Poor”
Based on their studies, the World Bank warns that poverty in the East Asia and the Pacific region is “projected to increase for the first time in 20 years: as many as 38 million people are expected to remain in, or be pushed back into poverty as a result of the pandemic.”
Qian added that for the Philippines, a little over two million Filipinos could be driven into poverty. A group coined as the “new poor” comprising of workers unable to make a living due to the COVID-19 crisis is expected to emerge. This prediction is still subject to change in case further spikes could occur in the near future. Qian also explained that “recovery will be very slow but if the vaccine is available early next year, the recovery may be accelerated.”
With our country’s recovery relying on the success of our COVID-19 suppression efforts, it is crucial to effectively detect and isolate all COVID-19 cases in our communities. MEDTEK hopes to support these initiatives by offering our COVID-19 diagnostic equipment and devices. This line-up of products include the FDA-approved Innovita 2019-nCoV Ab Test (Colloidal Gold) and the GeneFinder COVID-19 Plus RealAmp Kit. For accredited testing organizations interested in purchasing our test kit, please feel free to fill out the form below.