GETTING LOCAL ECONOMY BACK ON ITS FEET
The lifting of the enhanced community quarantine is only meant to relax the restrictions previously implemented to limit the movement of people and curb the spread of a disease that has no known cure yet. It does not mean that we can go back to our old ways before the Covid-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization.
The rules were relaxed primarily to allow those who have been out of work for two months to go back to work and for industries to resume operation. This way, the economy can slowly get back on its feet.
Even the Asian Development Bank said that the unprecedented health emergency brought about by the pandemic will substantially slow down economic growth this year.
The National Economic Development Authority is yet to release data about how the pandemic has impacted our regional and national economy but the closure of many businesses, whether permanent or temporary, could potentially cripple our national growth if nothing is done.
With the easing of restrictions, we hope our economy could recover. This can only be achieved if we continue to follow regulations set by the government. We do not want a spike in Covid-19 cases again so even with the resumption of business activities, the public should have the conscious effort of following health protocols, not only to spare us and our loved ones but also to help the economy.
Again, everyone must follow health protocols, as we share the view of a medical expert when she cautioned that testing negative for Covid-19 does not mean one is spared from the infection. True enough, while the vaccine for the infection is yet to be discovered, having a false sense of security from the virus threatens our community and economy.
Another way of making the economy robust again is for us to patronize micro, small, and medium enterprises, as suggested by an economist.
Unlike large corporations, MSMEs are more financially vulnerable at times like this. They do not have enough financial reserves from which they can draw funds to sustain their operations.
Without government and public support, many businesses might consider stopping their operation, which means the domino effect can be enormous – massive unemployment, poverty – which all could adversely impact economic growth.
While they are “small” businesses, MSMEs employ about 45 percent of the total employment in the country and they are suppliers of essential materials and support services of large businesses. They help spur economic growth, especially in rural and far-flung areas.
Without the support of MSMEs, many economies would collapse, as MSMEs are the backbone of any economy.
There is no denying that our economy is hurting and it is at this time when our help is needed.
To help fuel the economy, we call on the public that the next time they buy their supplies, think of the MSMEs and choose to buy those that were made by enterprises in their locality. This way, we help our neighbors keep their jobs and prevent recession from happening.