DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 March) – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) hopes the lifting of all coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions in Davao City will revitalize the local economy after two years of stunted growth caused by the impact of the pandemic on the local industries.
MinDA Assistant Secretary Romeo Montenegro told MindaNews on Wednesday that the lifting of restrictions was a welcome development after two years of tight quarantine controls implemented to control the spread of the infections, as these regulations took a heavy toll on the economy.
“As we inch our way towards transitioning back to pre-COVID levels given the continued drop in cases, we hope the lifting of restrictions and allowing businesses to operate at full capacity will steer us to accelerated economic recovery by the end of the year,” he said.
Last Monday, Mayor Sara Duterte released Executive Order No. 11 which lifted COVID-19 restrictions here, allowing businesses, offices, and establishments to operate at pre-pandemic capacity.
Duterte cited the need “to swiftly reopen the city for economic recovery in view of the impending increase in prices.”
It added that no lockdowns, including granular lockdowns, will be imposed while existing lockdowns have been lifted. All other alternative work arrangements for local and national government offices are also lifted while public utility vehicles are allowed full carrying capacity based on pre-pandemic guide.
In a data released by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) in February, Davao Region had posted P3.49 billion in registered investments for the year 2021, or a 29.63% drop compared with P4.96 billion approved in 2020.
The drop in investments was blamed on the lack of investment inflows in the region’s key sectors: real estate, manufacturing, administrative and support service activities, electricity, gas, steam, and air-conditioning supply, and agriculture, forestry, and fishing here last year.
Also, the NEDA-Davao reported there were 11,871 workers who lost jobs last year as the operations of companies continued to bear the impact of the pandemic.
As other parts of Mindanao see a continuous drop in COVID-19 cases, Montenegro said he hopes other local government units would ease up or lift restrictions but the official emphasized the need to strictly enforce minimum protocols such as wearing of face masks as directed under the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID). (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)