Philippine Economy Comes Back Stronger

After recovering from the pandemic-induced slowdown in the past year, the Philippine economy is on track to a more sustainable growth trajectory.

The Philippines has always prevailed through major challenges, from natural disasters to political uncertainties. However, the lingering socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic could strain the country’s much vaunted resilience now more than ever. Though still rocky, a path to recovery does lie ahead.

GDP growth significantly rebounded in the second quarter of 2021, surging 11.8% compared to the previous year, the highest growth in more than three decades. Among major sectors, manufacturing expanded by 22.3%, construction by 25.7%, and services by 9.6%. These figures have already brightened the economy’s full-year growth outlook despite some expected bumps due to the continuing spread of coronavirus variants. The government’s goal of vaccinating all adults—70% of the population—by the end of the year is crucial for the economy to sustain its growth trajectory. More than 42 million total vaccine doses have been administered so far.

Vaccine distribution may be uneven across the country, but in Metro Manila at least, the rollout seems to be proceeding briskly. The National Capital Region—which accounts for around 36% of the national economy—seems to be moving towards herd immunity. As of late September, almost 70% of the region’s target residents have been fully vaccinated, while almost 90% have already received their first dose.

The efforts of the private sector, such as global port management company International Container Terminal Services, Inc., have been instrumental in procuring and distributing the vaccines. SM Investments, the country’s largest conglomerate, provided free vaccines not only to its workforce, but also stakeholders and business partners, offering its properties as vaccination and testing hubs.

Prudent financial policies and vital reforms are expected to clear the way for further recovery, with growth expected to pick up by the last quarter of 2021 and into next year. With several high-impact infrastructure projects slated for completion in 2022, job opportunities are bound to expand and the country’s competitiveness will improve. These are also supporting the appreciation of real estate values in major cities, providing investors with unprecedented opportunities. Rebounding exports and remittances, and increased spending ahead of next year’s general elections, are also expected to boost domestic consumer demand.

The increasing adoption of digital technology and online transactions has greatly accelerated over the past year, boosting efficiency and the ease of doing business. Growth has now been more decentralized, with the government focusing on decongesting the capital and stepping up digitalization initiatives to sustain economic activity. Indicators point to a Philippines that will bounce back better, with more inclusive and sustainable growth, supported by robust infrastructure, and a resilient population that’s more digitally savvy.

International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

SM Investments: At The Forefront Of Serving The Philippine Recovery Agenda

The Philippines’ market-leading conglomerate broadens efforts to sustain business resilience amid a pandemic-induced economic disruption.

Over three million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered through SM’s malls nationwide.

With diversified interests across retail, property and banking, SM Investments Corporation is leveraging its wide footprint to support the fight against the pandemic and national recovery agenda.

In order to keep jobs, SM provided its workforce regular compensation throughout the pandemic, supported by its solid financial performance. SM’s businesses remained resilient, introducing innovation and adapting new ways to cater to the evolving needs of its customers as Covid-19 disrupted the economy. The company also mobilized its resources to expand its footprint to underserved areas.

“We are committed to serve our communities no matter what the economic conditions are,” says Frederic C. DyBuncio, SM Investments, President and CEO.

Driving The Fight Against Covid-19

With the health and safety of its workforce and stakeholders foremost in its agenda, SM immediately provided free Covid-19 vaccinations to thousands of its workforce as the vaccines arrived in the second quarter. A vast majority of the workforce have been inoculated.

SM also offered vaccination to many suppliers and business partners across its portfolio companies. It also partnered with the government by offering critical access to its properties as vaccination and testing sites to their constituents.

Over three million doses of the Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in 69 SM shopping malls around the country that have been used as vaccination hubs by various local government units (LGUs). The Pasay City government partnered with SM to open one of the country’s largest vaccination sites at The Galeón at the Mall of Asia which could accommodate over 3,000 individuals daily.

In addition, several SM malls served as drive-through collection sites for saliva RT-PCR tests in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross.

In collaboration with the Department of Health, Philippine Red Cross, and Bases Conversion and Development Authority, the SM Mall of Asia Arena also serves as a mega swabbing facility that could conduct 1,500 tests per day.

As part of SM’s comprehensive response to the pandemic, the company has donated medical equipment such as ventilators, PPEs and other forms of support to over 200 hospitals and institutions nationwide.

“We are committed to serve our communities no matter what the economic conditions are.”

– Frederic C. DyBuncio, SM Investments, President and CEO

Across its companies, SM facilitated vaccination of its stakeholders and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) partners in coordination with their respective LGUs to ensure a safer environment for all. SM made available the work sites of unit Carmen Copper Corp. in Toledo City, Cebu in central Philippines for the vaccination of its workforce and stakeholders from the government.

Docked vessels of 2GO Group Inc., a shipping and logistics company partly owned by SM, also served as vaccination venues for crew members. At the same time, 2GO continues to accelerate its vaccination drive for its employees and stakeholders.

For its part, SM Development Corporation conducted Covid-19 vaccination drives for residents and frontline staff across its properties.

With Covid-19 vaccines essential to the recovery of MSMEs—considered as the lifeblood of the local economy—SM malls teamed up with Go Negosyo, a private organization for entrepreneurs, to open shared vaccination sites for over 170,000 employees of MSMEs as part of Go Negosyo’s “A Dose of Hope” program.

“We made our assets accessible to all, both to the public and private sectors, and enabled our partners to secure much-needed vaccination,” DyBuncio says. “It is our hope that through these concerted efforts, we will be able to get past this crisis faster, together.”

For more information:

International Container Terminal Services, Inc.

Jump to an article