Business group aiming to assist gov't in vaccines, public transport


Posted at Jan 13 2021 03:55 PM

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MANILA - The private sector needs to help the government reopen businesses, restore public transport and procure COVID-19 vaccines to hasten economic recovery, an official of one of the country's major business groups said Wednesday.

"Our main task is to safely reopen given the existing conditions," Aurelio 'Gigi' Montinola, the new president of the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), told ANC's Market Edge.

He said the private sector can also help in procuring COVID-19 vaccines for themselves and other smaller businesses.

Montinola said that for MAP, they will "organize committees in exploring possibilities" on vaccine sourcing, and "use the first quarter of the year to figure out what we can propose."

He noted the private sector should also focus on getting back the furloughed and the "half-work, half-pay" employees into "active status", as well as supporting small businesses to recover.

"Around 50 percent of employees are in retail and trade, agriculture and fisheries, and construction. Those three have been badly hit [by the pandemic].. [We shall] do anything we can to revive those businesses," he added.

One way to contribute is to help in restoring and providing safe and reliable public transport, Montinola said.

He also noted that there should be more programs like Project Ugnayan, which was led by top business groups to help the less fortunate. 

"The next 3 sectors will need a lot of work -- which are the environmental, educational and social justice. We have a severe learning crisis...and we have to help the 48 percent [of the people] who rate themselves as poor. [We can do] a bit of values formation etc.," he added.