The Philippines and COVID-19: A Look at How the Country is Doing in Light of the Pandemic
The Philippines has recently been placed under Code Red Sublevel 2 Alert in light of the growing number of COVID-19 positive cases in the past week. The numbers grew dramatically over a few days.
At present, Metro Manila is under community quarantine with an imposed curfew of 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM. The Philippine government was forced to implement tough measures to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus and minimize its impact on the Filipinos' health and the economy.
Flattening the Curve
Social distancing and frequent handwashing have been encouraged not just by the Philippine government but also by medical experts all over the world. While observing proper hygiene is crucial, maintaining a safe distance from people can help slow down the spread of the virus.
However, self-quarantine is highly recommended at this point if people want to flatten the so-called curve. Staying at home is still the best way to protect yourself from the disease and prevent it from spreading any further. Thus, the government's decision to enforce a community quarantine in Metro Manila.
Compensation During the Crisis
When the news broke out about the community quarantine, hordes of people took to the supermarkets and started a wave of panic buying hoarding basic household essentials, food, and lots of alcohol and hand sanitizers.
Other than the essentials needed during this time of crisis, no other resources are affected. Even if most retail shops are closed for the next few weeks, dry goods are still readily available online. Heavy equipment like a backhoe loader for sale in the Philippines is still on the market, though the delivery may have to be put on hold. Supermarkets, banks, and pharmacies are kept operational albeit on shortened hours.
The main concern at this point is the virus' effect on manpower. From a business standpoint, any business will not thrive without people. Factories and plants the world over have been shut down because employees were starting to get sick.
These closures have greatly affected the world's economies. Stock markets have plummeted over the past few weeks. The oil industry has also felt the huge impact that this pandemic has caused a sudden decrease in demand as travel bans have been implemented and governments have urged citizens to stay at home.
It's no different here in the Philippines. With the implementation of a community quarantine in Metro Manila and a curfew, folks are worried about their work and sources of income.
No Work, No Pay
The workforce in the Philippine construction industry and other similar industries relies on attendance to get paid. Folks who don't go to work to clock in hours do not get compensation.
With the current state that the country is in due to the virus and the quarantines, construction employees are faced with a major problem. If they don't go to work, they don't get paid. However, how can they get work done when almost all aspects of the private sector are temporarily frozen?
Proposals for government assistance have been made to help compensate workers and employees, about 41.2 million of them. Employees are categorized into three sectors, namely industry, agriculture, and services, among which construction workers belong. The services sector makes up more than half of the total number with 56.6% of the labor force belonging to this sector.
While there is still no final word on this, the people are hoping for the best. For now, the best thing to do is fulfill your civic duty and help prevent the spread of the disease any which way you can.