Date Published:
Apr 14, 2020
Discussion Papers
Focus Area(s):
DP 2020-15

The novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that has infected at least 1.2 million people and caused more than 67,000 deaths worldwide. The Philippines has recorded 3,764 confirmed cases and 177 deaths as of April 7, 2020 and has implemented an enhanced Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from March 17 to April 30 in attempts to limit population movement and curb the spread of the epidemic.

Based on the disease transmission model, it is projected that aggressive efforts in the post-ECQ period to isolate at least 70 percent of infectious cases through better contact tracing, social distancing, individual or household isolation, and reduced delays in time to seek care for symptomatic cases are necessary to suppress the outbreak. Otherwise, lifting the ECQ but maintaining current conditions of delayed time to seek care for symptomatic cases merely delays the progression of the outbreak but still results in around 8 percent of the population infected.

For all scenarios that do not successfully isolate at least 70 percent of infectious individuals, demands for healthcare resources at the peak of the outbreak, i.e., by August 2020, far exceed available supply in the health sector.

The COVID-19 epidemic is expected to affect not only the country’s health system but also the economy. Projections based on a Leontief input-output model suggest that the Philippine economy may lose between 276.3 billion (best case) and PHP 2.5 trillion (worse case) due to COVID-19. The transport, storage, and communication sector, among others, is expected to suffer substantial losses because of expected declines in tourism (PHP 11.7-124.3 billion). Extending the ECQ by one more month may potentially cost the Philippine economy at least PHP 150 billion due to possible declines in household consumption as workers remain unemployed for longer periods.

Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from date of posting.


This publication has been cited 96 times

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