GCQ dilemma: To stay at home or go to work

NAGA CITY---Compliance and non-compliance with the stay at home protocol is the basic and costly tradeoffs faced by people living in places under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Rolan Jon Bulao, Partido State University’s Institute of Economics director, discussed Friday, May 1, the “Economics of Pandemic,” where he cited the huge costs the people in Camarines Sur and this city are facing.

Bulao, during his online discussion sponsored by the 416 Art Gallery, said the basic tradeoff or consequence faced by the locals here is to choose between staying at home or reporting for work amidst the risk of being infected by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

He said the risk and cost of their choices will depend on their personal judgments on taking precautions such as wearing face masks while outside of their homes taking into account the discomfort and inconvenience of wearing one.

“Are we willing to sacrifice a little to prevent transmissions and flatten the curve?” he asked.

Bulao admitted that because people to eat, it is difficult for them to stay at home due to hunger and poverty.

He said that it is the responsibility of the ocal government units (LGU) to ensure the sustainability of supplying the basic needs of the people during the GCQ period.

Based on Bulao’s estimation, the country’s economic losses will amount to some P276.3 billion as a result of Covid-19.

He said the Philippine economy will expectedly face a negative one percent recession.

However, Bulao said that once a Covid-19 vaccine is discovered and the existence of a national health crisis is lifted, economists hope for 6.6 percent economic rebound.

He bared that based from the latest study of the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS), it is estimated that P276.3 billon will be lost from our economy during the crisis, smaller than the present Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Bulao warned that if the crisis worsen, there will be P2.5 trillion loss in the GDP, which will lead to economic depression.

He said that factories, wholesale and retail businesses will be affected by an economic depression due to lack of demands.

Bulao also said that travel cost will double just like the present tricycle fare which increased from P8 to P20 per passenger in the city.