Gov’t should give money to companies to retain, pay workers: business analyst


Posted at Mar 24 2020 06:15 PM

A security guard scans the temperature of clients observing social distancing as they line up to enter the bank in Quezon City, March 20, 2020 on Day 6 of the lockdown in Metro Manila. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The government should ensure that companies do not lay off workers and keep paying them during the COVID-19 lockdown by channeling money through these firms, a business analyst said on Tuesday. 

Peter Wallace of Wallace Business Forum said that besides ensuring the health of the public, the government’s priority should be helping people who lost their jobs and small businesses.

Wallace said conditional cash transfers to the poorest members of society is important, but another major concern should be saving people “from the total loss of their incomes over the next two months.”

“We do it through the corporation, not directly to the person, because we don’t have national IDs yet and we don’t know who’s who,” Wallace said in an interview with ANC. 

He also doubted if local government units should be used to distribute this money, citing the possibility of corruption in some LGUs. 

“We know what’s going to happen, people are going to rise from the dead to receive payment.”

Wallace, meanwhile, supported the granting of special powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to better deal with the COVID-19 crisis. 

“I think it's a necessary thing to do, to bypass the normal bureaucratic procedures to move more swiftly,” he said. 

But Wallace said government takeover, or direction of companies, is not necessary as many corporations have already shown their willingness to cooperate as the COVID-19 crisis grips the country. 

He said the Senate should ensure “there aren’t any excesses” in the executive’s emergency powers.