MANILA - The new COVID-19 variant will delay the Philippines' economic growth if it will reach the country, a business group said Monday.
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is taking "all the steps" to prevent the entrance of the new variant, said chair and director for special projects Alegria Limjoco.
"This is the only way we can again grow our GDP and all that but we must really all take the precautions and avoid the crowd and [practice] social distancing and [follow] the protocols because it’s really going to delay our recovery," she told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"This Christmas was a little better because people went out. Just when it was recovering, eto na naman po ang strain. Nangangamba po talaga ang business sector."
(Just when it was recovering, this new strain appears. The business sector is really worried.)
Limjoco said the country's economic growth might be delayed to the "later part" of next year's second quarter.
"Sabi po ng BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) between 6.5 to 7.5 ang growth natin next year, however, with this second strain coming up, we believe it’s gonna be delayed," she said.
(The BSP said our country's growth next year is between 6.5 to 7.5, however, with this second strain coming up, we believe it’s gonna be delayed.)
"Madedelay lang po nang kaunti (This will be delayed a bit) but definitely there’s no way for us to go but up."
The Philippines has prohibited the entry of travelers from the UK, where the new variant was discovered, and enforced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from nations that have reported a case.