CEBU

Chamber outlines ‘drastic measures’

THE Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) called for unity and outlined measures Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020, that it exhorted the community to take to mitigate the social, economic and business disruptions brought on by the Covid-19 epidemic. These “drastic measures” are:

  • Management sector — Continue operating even at breakeven levels or subsidize operations to keep the business going. Exhaust all venues to keep workers in the payroll, instead of resorting to layoffs; e.g. availment of leave credits, allow leave without pay (LWOP), shorter work week. We encourage business owners to voluntarily slice profits or dividends for the sake of survival. Likewise, they should be ready to implement strategies and implement precautionary measures to protect their workforce while ensuring continuity of operations.


  • Labor sector — Forego demands and suspend collective bargaining agreement provisions that are non-essentials at this point; cooperate with management on cost saving and survival measures and voluntary LWOP, reduced work week and submit to stringent health requirements and monitoring; and allow management to just pay them allowances for non-core jobs and training.


  • Banking institutions — Grant reprieve on amortization and waive interest payments for a six-month period to troubled businesses, especially those just starting but are already challenged and could barely operate.


  • Commercial space owners — Including mall operators, grant rental holidays for a six-month period for those opting to close, or a cut on rental rates for tenants sustaining losses due to very low traffic.


  • Utility companies — Suspend some charges or at least reduce rates and provide a leeway or moratorium on late payment penalties or notice of disconnection.


  • Industry players — Share costs or cluster themselves to take turns operating; e.g. like a group of 3-4 hotels to take turns operating while their bookings are referred to cluster partners and cut down rates and launch attractive domestic travel packages.


  • Government agencies — Further devise ways to help businesses survive the crisis by supporting affected industries, especially small, medium enterprises (through) stimulus packages, tax rebates and incentives, and a lenient tax regulation to affected businesses.

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