MAP: Business boardrooms busy to ensure employees get paid amid COVID-19 crisis

Bruce Rodriguez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2020 03:33 AM | Updated as of Mar 27 2020 04:39 AM

MANILA -- Boardrooms of various companies are busy thinking of ways to ensure their employees will get their salaries, despite economic restrictions due to quarantine measures over the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the president of Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said Thursday.

"I've been into several board meetings the past how many days, trying to see what can be done under the circumstances, how to move forward if the pandemic softens and gladly what to do with the employees under the current condition," said Francisco Lim, president of one of the country's biggest business groups.

"There's so much care among the board directors and board trustees about the employees but the boards are continuing to meet online to address whatever issues that need to be addressed and foremost in minds of the directors and trustees is the welfare of the workforce," he told ABS-CBN News.

Lim said various companies already started to mobilize their resources to help in addressing the needs of the most vulnerable parts of the society amid the health crisis.

"We are not only looking inward but outward in terms of trying help government address situation in so far as our less fortunate brothers and sisters are concerned," he said.

Lim also floated a proposal to the government about a possible stimulus package, similar to the $2-trillion measure approved by the US Congress.

"I think in the package passed by the US Congress, I think there's a certain amount, I don't know if it's either $300 million or $500 million I am not sure. That's intended to help companies that may find themselves in financial distress as a result of this situation," he said.

He also called on fellow businessmen to do their best to keep their ventures afloat, while expressing optimism the Philippine government's own "Bayanihan Act," which gives President Rodrigo Duterte expanded powers to address the COVID-19 crisis.

It also authorizes executive to realign the national budget, as well as allocate funds to provide 18 million low-income families across the country with subsidies worth P5,000 to P8,000 as they try to cope with diminished income and livelihood because of an enhanced community quarantine.

Duterte earlier placed the country under the state of public health emergency during the Luzon-wide community quarantine in an effort to contain the virus.

As of Thursday, the health department has tallied 707 cases of COVID-19 with 45 fatalities and 28 recoveries.