Retrenchment fears

April 19, 2020

PEOPLE, particularly members of the working class, fear that the rampaging corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may trigger massive retrenchment that would be bad for the local economy as a whole.

Even the chair of the House of Representatives’ appropriations committee acknowledged that “matapos man ang krisis…ang epekto nito ay tatagal at mararamdaman pa rin ng ating mga kababayan.”

That’s why this early, legislative leaders have been meeting with officials of the executive department to discuss the 2021 national budget, according to House appropriations committee chair Rep, Eric Go Yap.

Congressman Yap said the focus of the legislative-executive meetings is how to help the most affected sectors of society as a result the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon.

Yap said officials of both departments know full well the need to provide more assistance not just to the poorest of the poor families but also to the country’s small businesses through budget allocation.

He said hit hard by the ECQ are micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), adding “kailangan nila ng assistance mula sa pamahalaan para naman makabangon sila sa epekto ng krisis.”

Of course, like other well-meaning Filipinos, we share the committee chairman’s view that the crippling COVID-19 pandemic should not trigger a bad chain reaction in the country’s labor force.

Note that many of the country’s more than 100 million freedom-loving people are in the de-energizing grip of grinding poverty that has been aggravated by the raging COVID-19 pandemic.

This was the cue for the private sector to join the government’s nationwide campaign to meet the mushrooming needs of the people adversely affected by the dreaded virus.

Dapat tumulong na rin ang iba pang mayayaman para walang Pilipinong mamamatay sa gutom habang may ECQ sa Luzon kagaya ng deklarasyon ni Pangulong Duterte.