HOW will a parent respond to his child’s question, “Do we have money to buy food?” A child will never hide his feeling of hunger.
This scenario is no longer about statistics. According to a report from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 45 percent of Filipinos that used to belong to the labor force are jobless. Twenty-five million of our citizens are now unemployed as a result of the Covid-19 health pandemic. Our citizens ages 20 to 59 are exposed to the virus in transit and at the workplace.
The video showing a concert in Wuhan, China wherein Chinese in attendance ignored all health protocols as if there was no health crisis at all is a clear indication of speedy recovery from the coronavirus where the pandemic all started. And so it seems China came prepared. The rest of the world is still suffering from the virus while China is already back to the old normal. As my grandfather always told me, “Life is never fair.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed earlier that Covid-19 came from an infected bat. Almost all kinds of viruses originated from China, a country that prides itself from exotic food. Should WHO be silent about this culinary practice after the magnitude of devastation caused by the pandemic? There should be a stop to this insect diet.
How do we tackle the unemployment problem then? Yes, there are now a thousand seafarers who were able to go on board as three cruise ships have started operating, but there are still millions of Filipinos struggling in our country. Jobless, they are unable to pay their monthly amortization for their houses, car loans, and some children have to quit schooling. What happens to the college insurance plans that supposedly ensure our children’s education? How about those who have to finance the needs of their younger siblings and aging parents? There are many among us who have shifted from working behind a desk to manual labor just to be able to eke out a living.
Our government coffers can no longer sustain another round of monetary assistance to its citizens. Aside from constant reportage of rising Covid-19 cases, we would like to hear from this administration how it is going to handle the unemployment and hunger problem.
Some businesses have resumed operations, but due to the pandemic people are still hesitant to go out. China, a superpower, may be able to recover from any kind of economic crisis. However, Third World countries like ours may take years to recover.