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Northern Mindanao economy bleeds due to COVID-19

By: Froilan Gallardo - CDN Digital Correspondent | April 02,2020 - 10:38 PM

CAGAYAN DE ORO- The local economy in Northern Mindanao has taken a nosedive just two weeks after transportation between its cities, towns and manufacturing firms came to a screeching halt amid strict quarantine measures.

Mindanao has been dependent on agriculture, tourism, and trade. And the havoc brought about by the COVID-19 scare took a huge toll on the region’s economy as countries clamped down their airports and seaports.

Power consumption, an economic indicator in Cagayan de Oro has dropped by more than 20 percent in just two weeks after shopping malls and stores were ordered closed to stop the contamination of the coronavirus.

Data obtained from the Department of Labor and Employment said more than 440 firms have closed down in just two week, impacting some 6,313 workers.

A total of 186 companies have implemented a flexible work arrangement for the more than 3,607 employees, according to the DOLE data dated March 30, 2020.

The data covered business firms across the 9 cities of Northern Mindanao including Cagayan de Oro and the provinces of Bukidnon, Camiguin Island, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, and Misamis Occidental.

“We have not yet quantified our losses. The tourism industry has taken a major beating,” National Economic Development Authority Region 10 Director Mylah Faye Cariño said.

Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (CEPALCO) manager for customer relations Marilyn Azarcon-Chavez said since March 16, power consumption in Cagayan de Oro had dropped by 20 to 40 percent.

“All our shopping malls, restaurants have closed following the quarantine measures,” she said.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno ordered all shopping malls and “non-essential” stores in the city closed last March 19. He also ordered a curfew from 9 pm to 6 am.

Community Quarantine measures depend on how local executives implemented their anti-COVID-19 response.

Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia implemented strict quarantine measures and a 6 pm to 6 am curfew while Bukidnon Gov. Jose Maria Zubiri initially ordered a stop to all rice trading outside the province but later recalled the order, /rcg

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