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Philippines set to recover sooner if...

Sans COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave, Philippines seen to recover sooner

MANILA – One of the country’s leading economists said the Philippines will be one of the least negatively affected in a global recession.

This was how Dr. Bernardo Villegas looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a webinar entitled “Prospects for the Philippine Economy in 2020 and Beyond” sponsored by Allianz PNB Life, he said looking at the health concerns raised during the pandemic, “anything related to health, curative or preventive,” will be given a higher priority.

He also mentioned the opportunities for the insurance industry that provides security by way of different health insurance products covering medical expenses including preventive medicine and life insurance with accident and death benefits.

Dr. Villegas added agribusiness will also be part of the country’s leading sunrise industry winner in a post-pandemic scenario. Opportunities will also be great for the digital industry and education.

On the other hand, he saw the difficulties in travel and tourism, fashion and furnishings as well as non-digital entertainment.

“Anything considered luxurious will take a back seat,” Dr. Villegas added. However, he said domestic travel may be able to recover. He explained “greater emphasis” can also be given to Metro Manila’s successor including Batangas, Central Luzon and Iloilo.

Should there be no second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a 2.7 percent growth rate is still possible for the economy this year. He said the Philippine economy counts of young ang growing English-speaking population against a backdrop of aging labor force and demographic crises in developed countries, rebalancing between China and other Asian economies like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and other ASEAN neighbors.

Dr. Villegas said the heavy government spending on infrastructure as well as foreign direct investments from China to Southeast Asia will also play an important role in the economy.

“By 20212, we can be back to our 6 to 7 percent (growth) trajectory,” he concluded.

Allianz PNB Life has also sponsored a webinar on the pandemic’s impact on the universal healthcare system with Reach52 founder and CEO Edward Booty.

Allianz has considered Asia one of its core growth regions as it is characterized by a rich diversity of cultures, languages and customs.Alliance has been in the region since 1910 when it first provided fire and marine insurance in the coastal cities of China.It is active in 14 markets in the region, officering its core business of property and casualty insurance, life, protection and health solutions and asset management.It has about 32,000 staff, Alliance serves the needs of over 18 million clients in the region across

Dr. Bernardo Villegas. (Sourced photo)

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