"Millions of Filipinos now have no source of income, adding to their anxiety brought by the very real danger posed by the virus."
Labor Day last weekend was marked by the usual tribute to workers and the demands for fairer working conditions especially during these difficult times under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is only right that employers, public and private alike and in all industries, acknowledge the efforts of their workforce in ensuring the continuity of operations notwithstanding the risks and the hardships encountered. It is also only just that they be seen not just as numbers or resources, but people with real needs and difficulties. They need all the help they can get.
This is a time, too, to think about those who have lost their jobs because of the recession induced by quarantine restrictions. Many businesses have had no choice but to scale down operations, or stop them altogether. As a result, millions of Filipinos now have no source of income, adding to their anxiety brought by the very real danger posed by the virus.
Business owners who have painstakingly built their ventures are also seeing them decimated by the economic slump. It is heartbreaking to realize how years of hard work and perseverance could end in this manner. We can only hope that they could build back, in time, not only the capital needed to try again but the spirit to brace themselves for the unknown.
Finally we also think about those who had been struggling to find work even before this pandemic began. The current crisis greatly dims their chance of finding a job. In the meantime, the uncertainty persists over where to get their next meal, or how to pay for medical expenses if the need arises, much less ensure a stable life for their family.
The only key to reviving the economy is an assurance that we can once and for all contain this virus. While it is unrealistic to expect that there will be a turnaround in the next weeks or months, we would be content with a plan on how to improve the rollout of vaccines. Then we don’t have to rely solely on lockdowns that stifle the economy just to protect the population.