Concepcion eyes advisory group for Philippine new normal

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Concepcion eyes advisory group for Philippine new normal
Shoppers wear face masks as protection against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) while inside a market in Marikina City.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion is planning to form a group of experts that will provide guidance to the private sector as the country moves to normalcy after dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement yesterday, Concepcion said the group would include experts in medicine, public health, economics, and research and data analytics, who can provide advice as the private sector navigates the shift to normalcy.

“We’ve seen over the past two years how important it is to have experts from all fields guiding us through the pandemic. Experts have credibility with our citizens, and they give advice based on science and data,” he said.

Concepcion is set to meet today with experts who have provided insights to Go Negosyo’s pandemic efforts in the last two years, to discuss ways the country can move forward from the pandemic.

In particular, the meeting will cover topics such as the alert level system, wearing of face masks, and COVID vaccines.

Invited to the meeting are National Task Force against COVID-19 special adviser Dr. Teddy Herbosa, COVID-19 Technical Working Group chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani,
 Vaccine Expert Panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante, UP Manila Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology director Dr. Edsel Salvaña, Philippine College of Physicians president Dr. Maricar Limpin, health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon, OCTA Research fellows Dr. Michael Tee, Ranjit Rye, Guido David and Fr. Nic Austriaco, as well as economist Romy Bernardo. Go Negosyo lead advisor Josephine Romero will also be in the meeting.

“The country is beset with other urgent problems on the economic front, but the fact is, COVID is still very much around,” he said.

“We need to find ways so that we save our livelihoods without unnecessarily losing our hard-won victories against the virus,” he added.

He emphasized the need for more clarity in communicating the different aspects of the pandemic to the public.

“People are confused as to what advice to follow. Is it safe to wear masks outdoors? What conditions warrant the raising of alert levels? How come COVID vaccines are not available at the pharmacies? These are very simple questions but there seems to be a need to present a clearer picture of what we can and cannot safely do now,” he said.

He also said it may be necessary to give greater responsibility to the people to protect themselves from infection and severe illness.

“People now have awareness of the dangers of COVID and basic knowledge of how to prevent severe infections,” he said.

“It has been more than two years since our lives and livelihoods have been disrupted by this pandemic. I think it is now time to set a clear path for how the country must transition into a state of normalcy, and encourage people to take charge of their own health,” he added.



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