As most countries did, Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte locked down the entire island of Luzon on March 17, 2020, suspending work, classes and public transportation to contain the outbreak that has sickened 6,459 people in the Philippines and later extended the quarantine by two more weeks until April 30. Stemming the spread of COVID-19 is of the utmost importance at this time. The virus outbreak is expected to peak in the second quarter of 2020, leading to a gradual recovery in the second half of the year.
As a result of the disruption to the economy caused by said pandemic, a zero growth in economic output can be expected this year. There will be pressure on the banking industry, your Bank included, as banks' revenues will suffer from declining interest rates and the economic slowdown resulting in default of loan payments and lack of demand for new loans.
In this time of crisis, your Bank has taken the necessary steps to ensure the health and safety of its officers and staff and clients, while delivering continued services. However, rest assured that your Bank will do its utmost best to surpass this crisis.
In closing, we would like to extend our gratitude to our Board of Directors, Stockholders, Officers and Employees and our Clients for their continuing support, making this year another fruitful one for your Bank.