Agri sector is top priority in Iloilo’s economic recovery plan
ILOILO CITY, June 9 (PIA6) – The agriculture sector will be a top priority in the rehabilitation and recovery strategy being crafted by the Iloilo Provincial Government to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr. said that the Provincial Planning and Development Office (PPDO) is already preparing the economic recovery plan for the province.
“For the province, our top priority is agriculture because of a number of unsold products,” he said, adding that a number of agricultural stakeholders, particularly farmers had big losses in their income and capital.
He said other priorities include the tourism industry and the public transportation sectors.
“Then, tourism industry because of zero tourist arrivals and then the public sector because of restriction on transportation. But of course almost everybody is affected,” he said.
The PPDO has started crafting the recovery plan with key areas on agriculture and fisheries; public health and environment; trade and industry; and social services.
“Our priority will be agriculture because there are a lot of unsold products as well as a loss in capital. And then the tourism industry because of zero tourist arrivals and then the public sector because of restriction on transportation. But of course almost everybody is affected,” he said.
The PPDO is currently preparing the draft recovery plan, which would be converted into programs and projects that will stimulate the economy.
“You have the direction which is this but you have to reduce it into budget. What will you add into the strategy and budget of the province for 2020? That is the challenge. What will be your innovations for you to say that you have a recovery program that will really stimulate the economy?” he said.
According to the provincial government, the following sectors incurred losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic: tourism sector, P1.1-billion; business and trade industry, P4.8-billion; agriculture sector, P103-million; and transport sector, P59.8-million.
Defensor said that roughly P2.4 billion was lost in terms of employment, affecting a total of 379,060 formal and informal workers from 38 local government units.
Stoppage in construction projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways-6 resulted in a loss of P117 million affecting 5,280 workers. (JSC/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)