MANILA, Philippines — Worldwide, government-imposed quarantines are slowly relaxing, but what are the implications of this to everyone still facing the ever-present threat of COVID-19?
For the most part, it means coming to terms with life under new normal: adjustments to everyday life, stringent protocols for businesses and offices as they reopen, new rules in public spaces, and in transportation, among others. On a more critical note, it signals a lifeline to struggling economies across the globe.
In the Philippines, a 5% shrink in the economy is predicted by research firm Oxford Economics. The Asian Development Bank, however, expects the country to bounce back strong in 2021, with a recovery of 6.5% GDP growth.
READ MORE: ‘Economy to shrink by 5%’
This relies on measures from the government, the private sector, and the actions of regular citizens that will curb the infections in the coming months as we await a proper vaccine.
For many Filipinos, the situation appears dire, but we are not without hope.
To date, the World Health Organization reports that the Philippines now has 23 real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) laboratories conducting diagnostic tests.
In terms of contact tracing, there are over 52,000 contract tracers as the government is seen to employ over 82,000 more. This effort in the investigation, isolation, and monitoring persons diagnosed with the disease can effectively break the chain of transmission and spread.
On the vaccine front, the New York Times tracker currently shows more than 140 in various stages of development by different pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies globally, with the most promising candidates coming from Moderna, Astra-Zeneca, CanSino, Sinovac, and Inovio, according to Cornell University. Meanwhile, breakthroughs in drugs to manage the disease and lower mortality rates are seen in dexamethasone, hydroxychloroquine, and remdesivir, to name a few.
In the meantime, Filipinos have a role to play. They can help one another by continuing to observe preventive measures that protect us from contracting COVID-19. This includes physical distancing, limited exposure to crowds, working from home if we can, sanitizing households, and of course proper handwashing—no other brand champions this more than Safeguard does.
A leader in national safety
As an institution with 54 long years of history under its belt, Safeguard remains strong in its advocacy for health, safety, sanitation, and hygiene. Even in today’s new normal, it continues to demonstrate this.
The brand’s products, ranging from soaps to hand sanitizers, have proven to be accessible and vital tools during this global health crisis. Simultaneously, the company even pushes initiatives for its singular mission to keep a SAFE Philippines.
For instance, the company leads in educating the youth about the benefits of handwashing. In 2019 alone, 100,000 students benefited from handwashing facilities it has set up in public schools all throughout the country.
Earlier this year, the brand has led significant efforts during the Taal Volcano crisis. And in the last few months, despite challenges due to quarantine restrictions, it successfully set up a nationwide distribution network to aid 15,000 medical frontliners in over 50 COVID-19 hospitals.
Its latest BayaniHands Project has complemented frontline efforts of the Philippine Red Cross by bringing in an outpouring of support from local citizens.
A partner in nation-building
As a household name for almost two generations, the beloved brand vows to help the country rebuild while fully transitioning to the new normal through partnering with institutions, beginning with malls so that Filipinos can gain access to soap and make handwashing more accessible for everyone.
"Safeguard’s mission has always been to help keep the Filipino family safe. Now, more than ever, hand washing has been at the top of Filipino’s minds, and that is where we are stepping up as a force for good," said P&G General Manager Raffy Fajardo.
"As the country reopens, I’m proud to share that Safeguard is opening its doors to partnerships that make handwashing more accessible for every Filipino. By bringing our hands together, we all work towards building a SAFE ‘New Normal’ for the Philippines,” Fajardo added.
By making their products continuously available for both consumers and various institutions, it makes sure that every place, whether public or private, is accounted for in creating a space that is safe from the spread of sickness during the pandemic and beyond.
To find out more about Safeguard’s SAFE Philippines mission, or simply want to contribute to the cause, send an inquiry to their official Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SafeguardPhilippines/.