Bouncing back the economy is easier said
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 10, 2020 - 12:00am

I got this text from my dear friend, Dr. Rene Bullecer, who said, “As of today, July 9, WHO reported that 550,000+ died of COVID-19 since January this year or for the last 190 days. Really? But do you know that based on world data, 156,000 people die each day? In the Philippines, as of today, July 9, some 1,325 died of COVID-19 since March or for the last 131 days? Wow! But do you know based on the PSA data, 1,600 Filipinos die each day?

“One more thing, since January 31, Sars-CoV2, the virus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, the data remains the same. What? For every 100 COVID-19 positive, only 3 of them dies. 85 are healthy and recovers, while 12 got severe infections but later recovers too. Hope these data will bring us to see the brighter light. COVID-19 is already part of humanity. Just stay alert and be protected with the truth.” Thanks for this, Doc Bullecer.

The text he sent me is similar to what I’ve been saying all along, that our fatality rate is miniscule if you look at our 100-million plus population. If people get infected by COVID-19 it is only because they don’t follow the protocols established by our medical frontliners and political leaders. In short Cebuanos are hardheaded as enunciated by Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, to which he was lambasted by proud people in social media. But in the end the procession in Sitio Alumnus, Barangay San Nicolas, was proof beyond any doubt that we’re really hardheaded! So it’s time to bring back the economy even if the vaccine is not yet ready.

* * *

Duterte, in a pre-State of the Nation Address briefing, said his administration has always overcome trials in the past four years. The head of the economic team, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, said the economy will be able to bounce back. I’m just glad that Dominguez is confident our economy will be able to bounce back.

Dominguez added, “We will overcome this crisis. We will get back to work. We will get back our economy and you can be assured that this government is doing its utmost to bring the economy back to the growth path.” Of course this is easier said than done. For the economy to bounce back despite the absence of a vaccine for COVID-19 everyone must follow the protocols the government has set. Wear masks, observe physical distancing, and wash your hands thoroughly and we can go on with our lives.

Of course, bringing back our stalled economy is easier said than done. In the first place, for as long as international aviation travel has been restricted by other nations, this can only mean problems for our tourism industry. This means that travel agencies cannot have their usual customers who always travel at least once or twice a year. This means no business for travel guides whose income depends upon the foreign travelers.

Consequently, this also means that our hotel and resort industry cannot resume normal operations. By normal I mean if a resort has 500 rooms, they’d be lucky if tourists comes and fill up at least 100 rooms. So this means that they have to resort to local tourists, but local tourist do not want to pay the room rates meant for foreign tourists. So the big question is can the hotel and resort industry lower their rates for local tourists? This is a question that the tourism industry in Cebu needs to address!

 

* * *

I read a news report that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. have expressed alarm over China’s holding of war games in the South China Sea. In an online forum before the weekend, Lorenzana said China’s move is “highly provocative” and could heighten tensions in the area. Some 20 cases of harassment by Chinese military and commercial vessels targeting Philippine forces and civilian fishermen in the West Philippine Sea have been recorded from August last year to early this year.

I also read that the US 7th Fleet has now passed through Philippine waters on its way to the South China Sea to do naval exercises with Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. So at least China knows that if they did anything wrong we are just in front of their doorstep ready to meet them with force if that is necessary!

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