“I appeal to the private sector – industry players, business leaders, foundations and the like to join hands and combine our efforts as we fight COVID-19 as one nation, as one people,” Go said.
Geremy Pintolo
Go to big business: Help avert economic fallout
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - March 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go urged yesterday the private sector, particularly big businesses, to pitch in to cushion the adverse economic effects of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“I appeal to the private sector – industry players, business leaders, foundations and the like to join hands and combine our efforts as we fight COVID-19 as one nation, as one people,” Go said.

“Threats of COVID-19 to the safety and lives of our people continue to grow. While the government is doing its best, we can help contain the spread of the infection if we adopt a whole-of-society approach,” he said.

“Big businesses should help small and medium scale enterprises to survive the crisis,” he added.

The senator made suggestions where the private sector can ease the effect of COVID-19, including the release of workers’ 13th month pay; moratorium on rental fees for renters and tenants, including market stalls; one month reprieve on bills payments from basic utility providers; implementing work from home and flexible work schedule; and help in encouraging everyone to stay at home.

Go also thanked all those in the private sector who made donations to help in the government’s effort to contain the virus.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III said the Bureau of Internal Revenue can simply waive the penalties if it does not want to extend the deadline of filing of income taxes.

Sen. Grace Poe commended the first wave of corporations who urgently heeded the call for payment extensions during the community lockdown. 

Poe, as chair of the Senate committee on public services, recognized certain crucial private sector entities for being among the first to adjust to the needs of their consumers and guarantee continued service. 

“The assurance of Globe, Smart PLDT, Skycable and GSIS of their continued service despite the moratorium shows their commitment to public service.”

Poe likewise urged other corporations and financial institutions to follow suit, “It is my hope that others will implement a modified payment scheme during this period.”

Recognizing the public health crisis brought about by COVID-19, Poe previously appealed to corporations, banks, and private and government financial institutions to implement a moratorium on the imposition of penalties or similar charges on delayed payment of bills, utilities, and other obligations.

BONG GO
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