Brace for 18-mo. pause, biz urged

March 26, 2020

Businesses are urged to prepare for 18 months of disruption in operation amid the coronavirus disease 2019  pandemic, PSA Philippines Consultancy Inc. Director for business intelligence Greg Wyatt said.

In a webinar of Nordic Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Wyatt said it is possible there would be multiple lockdowns to get the crisis under control.

He added countries could not afford lockdowns for more than two months that would result in another round of lockdowns in the coming months.

“When the situation becomes under control, they will lift the lockdown; cases would spike, then there would be another lockdown. That would go on for 18 months until there is a vaccine,” Wyatt said.

For the Philippines, he said it is possible that the next rounds of lockdown this year would  be in  June and November.

He added some businesses, particularly restaurants and those in the tourism sector, would not be able to cope with the 18-month disruption.

“Even those businesses that (are) not in those kinds of sectors, collecting receivables would be difficult,” Wyatt said, adding a shortage of liquidity can be expected in the future.

For the tourism industry, Wyatt said there would be a focus in the domestic market as it is likely that other countries would impose 14-day mandatory quarantine for arrivals for the next 18 months.

“It’s hard to sustain the international tourism business if you have that kind of response,” he added.

On the other hand, the current situation allows the potential of online transactions to be the norm in the Philippines.

Wyatt said restaurants can tap online functions and delivery options.