PH transport, supply chain industries reel from coronavirus impact

The global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is adversely affecting the Philippine transportation industry, leading to cancellations of hundreds of flights, drops in ship calls, and reduction in cargo volumes and passenger traffic for both sea and air.

In a February 19 hearing of the Lower House Committee on Transportation on the effects of COVID-19 on the transportation industry, Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) executive director Carmelo Arcilla said airlines are seeing a downtrend in bookings and a higher percentage of no shows and passengers seeking refunds.

In an interview with PortCalls after the hearing, Arcilla said fewer flights to China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are cutting cargo volume.

The effects of COVID-19 are felt not only in tourism but across various sectors of the economy, including manufacturing and labor, he said.

The supply chain, he explained, is taking a hit with some sectors already experiencing a shortage in raw materials, disrupting production.

To prevent the entry of the coronavirus, the Philippine government has imposed a travel ban first on China, Hong Kong, and Macau. It then expanded but later withdrew the travel ban on Taiwan.

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