Pandemic to impact tourism, BPO, says Davao biz leader

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 26 March) – The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, which has already shut down several businesses across all six regions of Mindanao, will create a major dent on the growth of the tourism and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors, Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. president John Carlo Tria said.

A huge signage along Davao City’s Diversion Road reminds the public to stay home under the city’s community quarantine guidelines on the novel coronavirus disease or COVID-19. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“We are still evaluating the full extent but it is safe to say that there will have a big impact on the tourism and hotel sector, which employs thousands in the city and Mindanao and about 5.4 million in the entire country,” Tria said.

The business leader said the booming BPO establishments here would also suffer in terms of their “active contracts” with clients and higher cost of operations, although on a lesser scale compared to the tourism sector.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro said they are in the process of gathering the latest data on the economic impact of Covid-19 on Mindanao “especially under this currently challenging times.”

The island comprises the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Caraga Region, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, and Zamboanga Peninsula.

“Nonetheless, we are monitoring, through regular interactions with the business and industry leaders through various chambers of commerce in Mindanao regarding the flow of commodities, not just those for domestic consumption but including the ones for exports such as bananas, tuna, and sardines,” Montenegro said.

He added the agency is tracking the “flow of logistics in line with the national guidelines on the unhampered flow of goods and commodities” through MinDA Coordination System. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)