No Indian businesses in PH to close down amid COVID-19: council

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 02 2021 09:25 AM

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MANILA - The Philippine Indian Business Council said Sunday majority of its members here do not plan to close down amid the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the economy.

The country is home to around 200,000 Indians, said Johnny Chotrani, chairman of the business council.

"Wala, walang ganun (There's no such thing). There may be some isolated cases, but it’s not en masse," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo when asked if there were any Indian businesses in the Philippines that closed down.

"Some of them have closed temporarily. No one has permanently closed. Indian businessmen will keep changing. Somehow, they’ll find something."

The Philippines has suffered from an economic downturn, with the economy contracting at its worst quarterly level of 17 percent in Q2 2020 and registering a -9.6 percent for the entire year. 

COVID-19 also put employment at risk. During the pandemic, construction and manufacturing were among the most affected, UP School of Economics Dr. Annette Pelkmans-Balaoing had said.

The pandemic is likely to have a scarring effect and long term impact on the economy including the loss of entrepreneurial capital for middle size firms that can lead to a market that is concentrated on large firms, she said. 

Government, meanwhile, has prohibited travelers from India until May 14 following a surge in cases there and the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant.

Indian capital New Delhi will stay in lockdown for another week due to the continuous rise of virus infections, the megacity's chief minister said Saturday.

India reported more than 400,000 new cases on Saturday in the past 24 hours, the first country to do so, taking the total to 19.1 million.

There were also 3,523 additional deaths, bringing the toll to 211,853.

In the Philippines, total COVID-19 cases reached 1,046,653 on Saturday, of which, 72,248 are active.