The Impact of COVID-19 & Navigating the New Normal

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21 April 2020 – MBC and McKinsey & Co. hosted a virtual Roundtable Discussion on the Impact of COVID-19 and Navigating the “New Normal.” 

McKinsey Managing Partner, Kristine Romano highlighted the impacts of COVID-19 on Philippine BPOs and overseas workers, main drivers of the economy. She said the BPO sector has been  resilient and may have a relatively quick rebound. However, she cited two caveats: onshoring must be limited, and the Philippine BPOs must improve their capacity to fulfill contracts. 

OFWs, on the other hand, are more vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. The biggest part of remittances come from the USA, which is now the epicenter of the pandemic.

Rebecca Yeoh, who has been working on government response from Singapore, discussed the easing of lockdown. Based on global examples, the reactivation of the economy needs to consider the rate of transmission of the virus as well as the healthcare system’s capacity to absorb new cases, she said. Rebecca noted that sectors with low-risk or high economic importance should be prioritized for reactivation, given strict protocols for physical distancing to avoid a second wave of infections. 

Examples of company-specific health protocols include large-scale employee testing for manufacturing, no-contact policy for transport and logistics, and crowd management practices for retail. In addition to new health protocols, Philippine businesses have to contend with relatively slow telecommunications services and low usage of online and mobile banking and payments.

Here is a copy of the presentation of McKinsey & Co.