The number of COVID-positive results out of all tests done in Metro Manila over the course of seven days decreased from 19% on October 3 to 17.3% on October 10. The COVID-19 reproduction rate, which shows how many people a positive person can infect, decreased from 1.1 on September 29 to 0.93 on October 13. This only shows that the NCR positivity rate is continuously declining. To effectively control the pandemic, the World Health Organization has advised a positive rate of 5%. According to Department of Health data, Metro Manila saw an average of 863 COVID cases each day from October 5 to October 11, which is a decrease from the previous week’s 1,019 cases. Although the NCR positivity rate has reduced this October, the number of cases is still increasing. This is due to the new subvariants emerging, a weak wall of immunity, and rising numbers in other regions of the nation. The Philippines might foresee additional ups and downs in the number of new COVID cases as the year comes to a close.
Some devastating impacts of the pandemic
Before we delve into the things that we can expect as the NCR positivity rate drops, it is important to understand first some of the most devastating impacts that the pandemic has brought to us since 2020.
Not only has the COVID-19 epidemic caused a health and life crisis, but it has also caused a severe economic downturn. The COVID-19 health crisis had really made it difficult, not just in the Philippines, but in the whole wide world to recover economically. Some of the pandemic effects on the economy are below:
- Many economic operations across the nation have come to a halt as a result of the implementation of lockdowns, mobility restrictions, and other comparable quarantine measures.
- In addition to COVID-19, devastating typhoons in November and a global recession, have aggravated our economic situation. It caused the GDP to contract in percentage terms in 2020, making it worse.
- Reduced economic activity is likely to cause severe disruptions in the labor market, particularly through decreased labor demand reflected in firm downsizing and reduced work hours, as well as in accelerated and deliberate efforts to increase digitalization in the economy.
Recent evidence suggests that the pandemic’s impact is beginning to be seen in key economic and labor market indicators. GDP growth slowed by 0.2% in the first quarter of 2020, and the total number of employed people fell by 8 million year on year in April 2020. Economic growth increased as quarantine restrictions were relaxed. Activities gradually improved, but more can be done.
- Lack of public transport
The lack of public transport is the top reason for the decreased demand for products and services during the height of the pandemic.
Some of the reasons for the decreased demand:
- Customers are unable to visit the establishments to purchase goods or services;
- Product or service quality has deteriorated;
- Customers cannot buy products or services through the online platform;
- Product or service prices have risen;
- Customers are less knowledgeable about the products or services;
- Quality and price remain unchanged, but customers have lost interest.
Further, aside from the decreased demand for goods due to lack of transportation, workers cannot also go to work if there is no efficient transportation. There is certain nature of work that is not suitable for a work-from-home setup, thus, reinforcing the need for more public transportation to help the economy run smoothly.
The labor market also declined, but as the economy began to open up, labor market indicators improved significantly. It is estimated that COVID-19 will disrupt 25% of total employment, either through reduced earnings and work hours or total job loss. This equates to approximately 10.9 million workers, roughly two-fifths of whom are women. According to a more detailed sectoral analysis, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and storage, construction, and accommodation and food services employ the greatest number of workers at risk.
As we approach the two-year anniversary of the first wave of pandemic-induced school closures, academic normalcy remains elusive for many students, educators, and parents. Schools have been forced to deal with severe staff shortages, high rates of absenteeism and quarantines, and rolling school closures in addition to rising COVID-19 cases by the end of 2021. Furthermore, students and teachers continue to face mental health issues, increased levels of violence and misbehavior, and concerns about lost instructional time.
Things that we can expect as the NCR positivity rate drops
Almost two years after the Covid-19 pandemic began, an end may be in sight, as the NCR positivity rate drops. Experts predict that Covid will lose its “pandemic” status sometime in 2022, owing to rising global vaccination rates and the development of antiviral Covid pills, which could become more widely available next year. Instead, the virus will most likely become “endemic,” fading in severity and blending into the background of normal, everyday life.
The end appears to be near, and we are eager to resume activities that were once a regular part of our lives. So here are some things we can’t wait to do once the pandemic is over and as the NCR positivity rate drops.
- Ease away from face masks!
As the NCR positivity rate drops, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. issued an executive order allowing the voluntary wearing of face masks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with adequate ventilation in order to boost the economy even further last September.
However, it is still strongly advised for not fully vaccinated individuals, senior citizens, and immunocompromised individuals to wear masks and maintain physical distance at all times.
Further, face masks should be worn continuously in indoor private or public establishments, including public transportation by land, air, or sea, and in outdoor settings where physical separation cannot be maintained, according to Executive Order 3.
Finally, after 2 years, we can now travel both domestically and internationally. And not having to spend days in quarantine after traveling. We can now get on a plane without having to wait two weeks for the results of numerous tests.
- More eat out!
Pretty sure, everyone has missed dining out during the lockdown. Consumers were most eager for restaurants to reopen. Of all the leisure activities that everyone has longed for, probably dining in restaurants is the most awaited. This seismic shift occurred as vaccines became available in the country. Or you can now host a party with food and your loved ones!
Recovery after the impacts of the Covid-19
“We are never returning to normal.”
That sentence has most likely been read before. You may have had this thought on a particularly gloomy afternoon, or you may have heard a friend say it from behind a computer screen — or from behind a mask. However, when looking at the data, as the NCR positivity rate drops, there are signs that at least we can all return to some semblance of normalcy. Below is some good news that indicates that we are slowly recovering from the impacts of the pandemic.
- Economic Recovery
The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a 9.5% decline in the Philippine economy in 2020. Thus, the government should continue to maintain adequate policy assistance to enable a robust economic recovery while protecting against potential macroeconomic and financial risks because the recovery is still in its early stages and is fragile. It is anticipated that the GDP will expand by 7.4 percent in 2021 and 7.8 percent in the following year.
Further, BRIA Homes continue to help drive economic growth in the Philippines through its real estate projects. Some say that despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Philippine real estate did not suffer as severe disruptions as some might have predicted. Because homebuilders continue to report significant sales increases, confirming the notion that regardless of economic forces at work, consumers will always have a basic need for shelter. This, combined with every Filipino’s long-held desire to own a house and lot, will continue to fuel the demand for viable housing across the country.
The subsequent increase in real estate construction projects has one undeniably positive result: it creates widespread employment (for both skilled and unskilled workers) and creates a demand for housing materials and related services. It also has a multiplier effect in terms of maintaining steady employment in the manufacturing sector.
- Efficient Public Transportation
After nearly 9 years of inactivity, the Philippine National Railway (PNR) announced on its Facebook page the reopening of the PNR Calamba – Lucena – Calamba route. As face-to-face implementation gradually returns to normal, one of the underlying issues for the coming days is travel from one location to another. The project would not only provide opportunities for tourists, but it would also provide passengers with faster transit options between the two southern Luzon regions and passengers from Metro Manila going to the said provinces, as the NCR positivity rate drops. It will help to boost tourism and provide passengers with convenient transportation in the provinces of Laguna and Quezon.
- Returning to Work Physically
People will gradually return to working in their offices as the NCR positivity rate drops and regions begin to reopen. Returning to work after COVID-19 can be frightening, awkward, and upsetting. The Human Resource teams should make changes to policies, the physical workplace, and their approach to employee relations to ease the transition from work from home setup to a full face-to-face setup.
Further, as it becomes possible to return to the office, business organizations begin to look for a new location. Indeed, Collier Philippines reported that the office space market had experienced positive net take-up after seven consecutive quarters of losses. Furthermore, the real estate expert disclosed that business process outsourcing (BPO) and traditional companies drive rental demand in order to capitalize on rental correction and the availability of new spaces from various districts.
As we slowly return to the old normal, renting out space in Metro Manila suddenly becomes a need. If you have the funds, why not take advantage of this opportunity to gain a competitive advantage on your next rental or real estate purchase? Bria Homes could be your next investment. Many transportation networks are being built on its property locations to facilitate access to Metro Manila’s business district.
Where to live in Metro Manila as the NCR positivity rate drops
You don’t have to go further when looking for a place to live in Metro Manila because we have here BRIA Homes, where recently it was awarded as the Most Reliable Condo Developer of the Year in Asia’s Pinnacle Awards 2022. BRIA Homes are renowned for building high-quality homes in significant towns and cities around the nation.
- Makati City
Ayala Avenue in Makati City is the first and still best known of all the existing business districts in Metro Manila.
- Ortigas Center
It was transformed into an urban hub, and it is still being developed to improve accessibility and offer options for business ventures, which is good for the Filipinos’ job demands as well. Buildings and infrastructure are currently being created regularly in the neighborhood to continue Metro Manila’s urban transformation.
- Bonifacio Global City (BGC)
Lavish, expensive, and extravagant come to mind when the younger generation uses the phrase BGC. It is without a doubt a contender to surpass Makati as Metro Manila’s finest market for premium office space.
For your residential needs, BRIA Homes have constructed all residential types, including houses and lots, and affordable condominiums. You can easily obtain loans from banks or Pag-IBIG Housing to facilitate financing.
Further, BRIA Condo projects offer their residents cozy and comfortable residences, landscaped green spaces, first-rate recreational and leisure amenities, dependable internet connections, 24/7 security, and capable property management, just like its residential enclaves in more than fifty locations across the country.
On the BRIA website, prospective home buyers can take virtual tours of BRIA Condo homes and other BRIA Homes developments. They can also make online reservations through the BRIA reservation page or through the official BRIA Facebook page.