At a time when the global pandemic that is COVID19 is unleashing havoc in the Philippines, there are local brands like Suit it Up Manila that are taking part in efforts to support our frontline workers in their selfless battle to contain the virus.
“At this challenging time, what is important for us is the welfare of our local tailors and staff. We have taken great lengths to take care of them in the interim as best we can," says Franco Ongkingco, Suit Up Manila's chief operating officer. "In addition to that, we believe that we also have a responsibility and duty as Filipinos to contribute to our brave frontliners who put their lives on the line everyday for us in the face of COVID19.” Suit Up Manila recently donated PHP100,000 to the Philippine General Hospital Foundation Inc to help in their efforts.
These are uncertain times we are living in says Ongkingco. There is no guarantee that the lockdown will end soon as cases continue to rise. The economic impact of this pandemic has yet to become fully realised. “Large companies may be able to survive for months but local brands will find it very difficult to finance their operations two to three months from now should this virus persist. Currently, many of us have access to basic utilities such as electricity, water and food but what happens when people can not afford to pay for them anymore because they are unable to go to work?”
To help keep SMEs afloat, the government must take drastic steps to ensure that affordable financing is available to all businesses for rental and operating expenses. Bridge loans to ensure that companies would be able to maintain majority of our employees through this critical period would be a great way to stimulate growth moving forward and at the same time protect jobs and prevent the rise in unemployment.
Despite the uncertainties that lie before us we must maintain a positive mindset and work together to overcome this crisis. We are strong, We are resilient, We are Filipino and Will overcome!