Not a bleak future after all
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - October 1, 2020 - 12:00am

It was comforting to know that our country has better perspectives for the future. After all the number of Filipinos that populate the world is not a liability, instead is one of the economic drivers not just for the Philippines but also for the world. 

So the introduction of family planning methods in the past, though intended to manage the population curve, is once again proven to be just that, a temporary solution. Not intended for long term and legislated population control like other countries.

One can just imagine the number of overseas Filipino workers that help spur the economy of other countries, be it as domestic helpers, medical professionals, engineers and other skilled workers. As the OFWs bring in money for their families here, they also allow the industries of the places they work for to move as their employers are able to pursue their own careers or enterprise.

Listening to economist, Dr. Bernardo Villegas has always had that reassuring effect on me. He always finds the silver lining and goes beyond a crisis. He looks at other possibilities that could encourage our countrymen to move forward and take risks.

The pandemic has shown us how artificial intelligence has leaped forward and is an important backbone in continuing our businesses. Thus the pronouncement of  Dr.Villegas that if in his coined “guestimate” should the COVID crisis dissipate in two to three years, we can look forward to a better future in 5 to 10 years. Thus, we are not to stumble over the couple of years of dreary bleakness, but have to take up ourselves and prod on.

In a parable in the Bible, when a man was asked what he would do should he know that the world will end soon, he said he would continue to work in his field. Imagine if his answer would have been he would go home and pray.

Well of course, I think he would have done that while he was plowing. Praying that is.  But he will not stop working. For God would not want us to do that only then. We are to pray even when our lives are not threatened. We are to continuing working even if our lives are threatened. Why? An unoccupied mind, a mind full of anathema is going to shrink with fear and not overcome. God has given us a resilience that is strengthened by a daily walk in faith. Perhaps that is why Filipinos are considered among the most resilient.

When I was a child, our social studies teacher would tell us that the Philippines has very rich natural resources. And this is reinforced by the statements of Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II and Dr. Villegas. In spite of the deteriorating state of our ecology, we still have much natural wealth. It just has to be managed well this time. Prodding our workers to ensure the sustainability of the land as they adapt new technologies in agriculture, and even mining and quarrying, considering the two latter industries are important as well in infrastructure development that supports the agricultural sector.

Mindsets have to be reprogrammed to look into more basic survival skills. Not the so called higher education that end up with unemployment or underemployment. Technical training, skills training, and the tooling of farmers to better respect themselves as food security workers.  People have to continue to plow the field. We go back to basics as we realize further that that is what survival is really all about.

Leading in the rising industries still is agriculture, followed by health and wellness, then the digital industry and the education sector according to Dr. Villegas which we can see is further supported by the programs of government as mentioned by ASEC Lambino in his talk in the Mandaue Business Summit held by Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

I was glad to note that government has courageously pointed out that taxing business may not be the only solution to gearing up the economy. iving tax relief to some point can instead spur business to do what they do best and make the money they save from taxes gain more money through better investments that bring in more employment and better economic circulation.

It is wisdom, not greed that apportions what God has given us stewardship over. For it is just that. We are just stewards of God’s wealth.

rgarces@smg.sanmiguel.com.ph

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