Q2 economic collapse ‘worrisome’: MVP fears even COVID-proof telco revenues could take a big hit

Bilyonaryo Manny V. Pangilinan is alarmed over the economy’s 16.5 percent deep dive in the second quarter this year – the worst ever in Philippine history and the worst among Southeast Asia’s top economies.

““The 16.5 percent contraction is worrisome…because it could very well affect our revenues moving forward,” said Pangilinan in an interview with reporters just hours after the government released the atrocious numbers.

The economic crash is so bad, Pangilinan fears that revenues of PLDT-Smart, that have so far benefited from the rise in online activity and shift work-from-home during the lockdown, could be affected in the second half this year.

“But part of our job for the balance of the year is to contain our costs because that’s within our control, but revenues we are uncertain of,” said Pangilinan.

PLDT-Smart’s profits rose five percent to P13.9 billion in the first half of the year.

Buoyed by a spurt in demand for video, social media and mobile gaming, PLDT-Smart’s mobile data traffic increased by 100 percent with consumer wireless profits rising 16 percent to P39.8 billion.

Aside from the economic knockdown, Pangilinan also expressed concerns over the health of his group’s employees and the public.

“We worry about, for instance, our hospital group because the group is involved in the health sector. We are also helping the government in our own small way of addressing the issues related to the virus,” Pangilinan said.

“We recently got a cost from pharmaceutical companies whether we would be interested in making reservations for potentially the vaccine that could be developed, hopefully by the end of the year. I said, ‘Yes, we are interested to talk’,” he added.

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