PCCI members implement COVID-19 mitigating measures
PCCI Mindanao calls to “think regional, act local”
In an effort to help businesses cope with the enhanced community quarantine, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business organization in the country has undertaken coordinated efforts with its members and local chambers spread out across the country to ensure government guidelines and new policies reach the local business community.
PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico lauded PCCI’s local chambers who have responded by adopting programs and championing policy measures to reduce risks to employees and costs to businesses and the economy.
Among the first to heed the call is PCCI Mindanao under the leadership of Ms. Ma. Teresa R. Alegrio, PCCI’s Vice President for Mindanao, which started implementing the Business sector Response to COVID-19.
In a webinar on How COVID-19 had Affected the Movement of Goods and People organized by the PCCI, the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexpot), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and the Philippine Disaster Resiliency Foundation, Alegrio stressed that an important business principle which she has been championing for PCCI Mindanao’s members is “Your responsibilities begin with your company,” where she urged companies to prioritize the welfare of their workers, stakeholders, contractors and the community where a company is located.
Central to the programs adopted by PCCI Mindanao is the Planning Regional and Acting Local strategy where Alegrio emphasized on the importance of securing food supply chains and helping protect healthcare personnel and frontliners.
“As the country’s food basket, we are greatly concerned with the flow of the food supply chain”, Alegrio said such that now, “There is stronger communication and cooperation among local government units (LGUs) and local chambers to address difficulties in trading goods.”
PCCI Mindanao is also coordinating with LGUs on the deployment of rolling stores for each municipality and on the distribution of relief packs to individual households.
To protect healthcare personnel and frontliners, PCCI Mindanao is coordinating the local production of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) with community production lines and volunteer organizations with the help of larger companies. The chambers are also networking with colleges and universities for the production of alcohol for distribution to front liners in local hospitals.
Alegrio cited how the Oro Chamber has been assisting Xavier Ateneo’s alcohol production through material sourcing of absolute alcohol, the raw material for the isopropyl and ethanol alcohol being processed for the NMMC. Another member of the Oro Chamber, Engr. Elpidio Paras, Alegrio has also been able to produce a sodium hypochlorite which can be used as a disinfectant.
To help contain the spread of the COVID 19 virus, Alegrio encouraged LGUs to put up sanitary cabins with strong disinfecting systems.
To gauge the magnitude and extent of the disruption and how much business opportunities were lost, she recommended a “rapid sectoral assessment” and suggested the local chambers to tap the assistance of universities in their areas in formulating survey questionnaires and doing the actual survey. The survey questionnaires, she said, should include the profile of business, number of workers, estimated business opportunity loss, coping mechanism and recommendations to government.
Encouraged by this initiative, Yujuico said he will make sure this will also be cascaded and adopted in the other areas to ensure that businesses would have a concrete recovery plan once the crisis is over. “We encourage other LCCIs and even the other business organizations for that matter to monitor and come up with their respective recovery plans by initially doing the rapid assessment,” he added.
He also enjoined LCCIs to continue working with the local government units for the effective and efficient implementation of policies and programs for MSMES.