Reopening the economy in safety
ROSES AND THORNS - Pia Roces Morato (The Philippine Star) - September 26, 2020 - 12:00am

In a recent interview with DTI Secretary Mon Lopez, I had the chance to discuss with him the programs spearheaded by the agency in terms of reviving the Philippine economy despite the pandemic.

Many of our friends in the business world often ask about the steps being undertaken by this administration to boost a once thriving economy, especially after a lockdown. Small and medium business entrepreneurs ponder and toil daily on how to pick up from where they left off.

Based on my research and of course as explained by Secretary Mon, programs such as the “Negosyo Serbisyo sa Barangay” are aimed at business development while bringing government services closer to the people through partnerships with the local government units. The goal is to bring back consumer confidence that will also generate jobs as well as save companies.

This consumption strategy is one of the key goals of the REBUILD PH program wherein, together with the other key goals being investment, government expenditure and export and import, people will have the necessary income that will bring back demand to entice companies to produce more supply. It is, as Secretary Mon explained, important to bring back business confidence and revive consumer confidence while balancing the importance of public health and at the same time, running the economy.

Since trade restrictions eased up in July, countries such as France continue to pursue with the Philippines mutual cooperation, especially in re-launching their economy which suffered a 13.8 percent drop in their GDP during the second quarter of 2020. France was recently accepted as a development partner by the ASEAN.

In the regions, such as Region 6, the right approach in the development of the bamboo industry has seen an allotted value of more than P18 million to ensure sustainable utilization as well as promotion of bamboo for new industries.

While so much activity is happening online, it seems that more innovators and economic movers are toeing the line in seeing to it that we are not only business as usual but more so, that the Philippines is ready to get back on track and spiral forward into bigger and better things that are, most of all, inclusive. Personally, I am excited. Opportunities, as they say, always show up even in the midst of a crisis. Filipinos are not only creative, we are also resilient. Such traits have often enabled us to emerge with clarity after long periods of adversity.

We are on the verge of another industrial revolution and it is time we place our focus on moving forward in a new normal that does not put safety on the sidelines. It can be done. It’s all about synergy.

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