Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Interesting article in the business section. Who to sacrifice for the economy. You need to read deep into the article to see it. Long story short. Open up the economy. Old and sick folks stay home and take maximum precautions and hope for the best. 

https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/03/30/2004192/our-covid-19-economy

Let us face the reality of our situation: the pace and quality of our lives now and in the foreseeable future will be dictated by the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

The virus respects no human title. The Crown Prince of England is infected and the British Prime Minister as well. Senators and Congressmen here and in the US are infected. A World War is raging and we can only see the enemy in a laboratory test.

President President wants to declare America reopened for business by Easter. He wants people to pack their Churches in celebration of Easter, the most important holiday in Christianity. He wants businesses to start churning the economy again. But it is not his call. The virus will make that call.

 

We can only react to the challenge the virus in hurling at us each day. The quality of our response will dictate how soon we can get back to normal.

Are we actively testing and isolating more cases? Are we getting more ventilators and building more overflow patient facilities? When can we expect a cure and a vaccine?

 

This is why it is important we have leaders we can trust and have confidence in their ability to make the right decisions. I am not sure Health Secretary Duque still deserves our trust.

Duque played politics with China and then the VIP tests. We had just three cases between Jan. 30 and March 4. Then the numbers increased. He wasted 35 days by not preparing more test and other facilities for the upsurge.

It isn’t as if changing him is like changing horses in the middle of a war. The graphs show the war has barely started for us and we must flatten it.

It isn’t as if we are lacking in leadership talent. There is former health secretary Manuel Dayrit who has experience managing our SARS response and also has WHO work exposure. There is Dr Gap Legaspi of UP-PGH, who keeps on impressing us with his ability to get things done despite lack of resources.

This is still primarily a health and not a military crisis. We need a credible medical professional in top level decision making. That’s not Duque.

As we approach a month of total isolation for many countries, the question is often asked: Will our economies survive the virus? Will people revolt over the draconian measures before the virus kills them?

It is bad for poor countries like ours. We have so many people living in extreme poverty even in the best of times. Now we must add those living hand-to-mouth who lost their daily wages.

It is easy to demand that government provide our poor with enough money to cover basic needs for as long as the medical emergency exists. Our national treasury can probably afford such subsidy for a month or two. But what happens if the virus lingers for a year or more?

The emergency power law recently passed by Congress provides for an emergency subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million low income households all over the country. The President has the power to realign whatever money there is in all government agencies, including GOCCs.

But the big question is, how will the poor get hold of those funds? We don’t have a system to flow the money down without a large part of it being lost in the hands of corrupt officials.

Things will get worse before it gets better. According to NEDA, without mitigating measures, they see a reduction in our real GDP growth to -0.6 to 4.3 percent this year.

NEDA also warns that “if the ECQ is extended beyond one month, or if the spread of COVID-19 is unabated even after the ECQ, then even the low-end of the estimate is still too high.”

That’s why some economists, like Toti Chikiamco, are saying a prolonged lockdown will cause not only an economic crisis, but also a social crisis, with food riots and other socially disruptive events.

Because the Philippines has a young population with a median age of 23 versus Italy with a median age of 46, Toti thinks it should be possible to risk easing the lockdown by April 14.

By easing, that means allowing mass transport to operate and businesses to reopen, provided, regular disinfection is mandated for all mass transport, and social distancing where possible.

Toti wants to adopt a risk-based approach to confront the epidemic – omnipresent temperature checking before entering workplaces, mandate wearing of masks for everybody, continuous public education on hand washing, social distancing;

“Continue the bans on mass gatherings of more than five people; continue the quarantine of seniors who are the most vulnerable to the virus; build surge capacity of temporary hospitals and quarantine hotels for PUIs or Persons Under Investigation. It’s important for suspect cases to be removed from their families as they can spread the infection to their families as what happened in Wuhan;

“Continue the ban on foreign visitors, or put all visitors under a 14-day quarantine. Let herd immunity build among our young population. Eventually, too, we have to do mass testing. Therefore, we have to reserve resources to buy cheap testing kits that are presently being developed by biotech companies.

“In other words, the Philippines can’t afford the 60, 90 or-120-day lockdowns being contemplated in the West. The cure may be worse than the disease…

“Flattening the curve is really about matching our health capacity to the exponential increase in cases, and therefore, hopefully, more people will be saved. How many lives will be saved, versus how many lives also lost due to hunger and unemployment?”

 There is also a proposal to devalue the peso to P55 to $1 as an economic relief and stimulus package: it will put money in the pockets of OFWs, boost exports and BPOs, and protect import-substituting local industries. China is reported to have quietly done that for the yuan.

“With oil prices at historic lows and demand down, the inflationary aspect is muted.”

So many things to do. So little time. Not enough data to act upon. And we have to fight this virus intelligently. Mistakes are too costly in terms of negative impact on lives as well as on the economy.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 3
  • Hmm thinking 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally, someone speaking sense.  Eventually people will catch on. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Since this is a nation of now quarantined and highly controlled island populations, I checked on         https://www.doh.gov.ph/2019-nCoV   for current data.sets and geographic distributions.  The PI map can be magnified and moved to show areas of high infection.

More males than females appear infected. I just started looking at this site, so if you have time to examine it, you might find interesting data items to possibly note, if interested.

I am hoping our quarantine/lockdown efforts prove effective and some restrictions on some areas are eased within the next 2 months, provided that large scale testing, tracking and contact tracing can be accomplished so we more accurately know where the virus and its carriers are located.  

Edited by Old55
moved ink or you
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, manofthecoldland said:

Click  on the red dot nearest your location to see cases. Left bar shows hospital locations where confirmed cases patient are.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, manofthecoldland said:

Click  on the red dot nearest your location to see cases. Left bar shows hospital locations where confirmed cases patient are.

I have looked at that site a few times.  I don't know why it does not show any cases in Zambales.  I think we have 3.

Here is an interesting stat.  Philippines has only 4.8% of population over 65.  Compared to Japan 27% and Italy 23%, etc.  In theory, that bodes well for the survival rate here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_age_structure

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
56 minutes ago, OnMyWay said:

I have looked at that site a few times.  I don't know why it does not show any cases in Zambales.  I think we have 3.

Here is an interesting stat.  Philippines has only 4.8% of population over 65.  Compared to Japan 27% and Italy 23%, etc.  In theory, that bodes well for the survival rate here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_age_structure

 

On one hand yes, the fact we have a smaller number of older people is a positive but on the negative side we do so for a reason which may mean it is lethal here to a younger group than in other countries.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, hk blues said:

On one hand yes, the fact we have a smaller number of older people is a positive but on the negative side we do so for a reason which may mean it is lethal here to a younger group than in other countries.  

Possibly true.  I was hoping to find a site with the Philippines summaries by age.

I can't remember if I posted this site.  It has ages and then on the deaths, you can drill into the individual to find out what else was wrong with them.  Diabetes is a big one here!  You will have to scroll through the pages for a while, to find a death.

https://covid19ph.com/?fbclid=IwAR3Ji-J-NP2U5tQnWc_wSH6bPXw4nohXY_ybgK3AIumaFYJqP1liJRQom20

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be helpful for remitances. at least in the short to medium term if the peso was devalued because the same amount of sent US$ or Euros or AU$ would be received as more peso.   I think they're right, a 3 month lockdown is not sustainable in the Philippines however I also think that a 4 week lockdown will not be enough to contain the virus.  I forsee a situation where at the end of the short lockdown period virus infection numbers in the Philippines exploding.

From a purely economic viewpoint and ignoring the human cost of that I can see why they'd argue that's the way to go.

I'd like to disagree but I don't have a solution to the human cost of a long term lockup either.

 

Both alternatives are going to result in a huge amount of harm :(

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just had a phone conversation with a friend, he was very kindly offering to obtain any groceries we might need, as he insists I should not venture out!

To make his concerns more important he mentioned this site for reference and advised me to read through it, which I will now do.:tiphat:

Coronavirus Update (Live): 723,732 Cases and 34,000 Deaths from COVID-19 Virus Outbreak - Worldometer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that the extension of the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon is not “advisable,” as he noted that the ECQ is already working to curb the further spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Año said that while the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases will still discuss possible measures once the 30-day lockdown is over, an extension is not recommended.
“It’s not advisable to extend the lockdown because our economy will suffer greatly. Let’s take the remaining two weeks seriously so we can solve this,” he said in Filipino in an interview with dzBB. 

That last para. is very telling.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...