The Manila Times : BBM eyes 'jab to jobs' in recovery

29 January 2022

By Javier Joe Ismael | The Manila Times

PRESIDENTIAL hopeful Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. said to ensure that the population achieves herd immunity, the economy should be revitalized and people's lives normalized.

Appearing in "The Boy Abunda Presidential One-On-One Interview" last Tuesday, Marcos stressed that proper vaccination and its rollout, which would result in the safety of the people shall lead to a stable economy, paving the way for recovery after the pandemic.

"The idea is that once we are in safe condition, then we have to get people back to work. 'Yan lang naman ang habol 'pag tinanong mo ang Pilipino, kung anon'g tingin nila sa Covid, eh (That's the only thing they want if you ask a Filipino, of what they think about Covid). 'I don't have work, I don't have money,' so that's the priority we should be preparing," Marcos said.

"Agriculture, tourism, we should go back to the concept of public-private partnership, and that way we can bring together different segments of the government working together so that the economy will come back and hopefully it will come back stronger than it was during pre-Covid," he explained.

He said the country has to come back even stronger after managing the pandemic and slowly work on ways to bring back the economy and get the people back to work.

"A lot of plans were destroyed. Kahit sa buong mundo yata naramdaman itong Covid, and so we have to come back and get our people to work. How do we do that? In my view, we have to do that by revitalizing the micro, small and medium enterprises, the small businesses that comprise 95 percent of the businesses and 60 percent of our employment," Marcos said.

He said that this sector had been one of the hardest hit and "the government can help them with lower taxes, tax holidays, etc. and the private sector can come up with micro-financing."

Asked about the people who refused to be vaccinated, Marcos said that the government cannot force people because it is their right, "but they should understand that they are putting the lives of the people around them in danger."

"The statistic shows that 85 percent of those currently in the hospitals are unvaccinated so it's clear that science is right, that vaccination is really a big help. So let us convince them and explain to them that what is happening right now is they are limiting the options in their everyday lives. They can't even go to restaurants or use public transport," Marcos said.

He added that instead of punishing the unvaccinated, it is really important that they be given accurate information to convince them that it is important for their work, their community, and for their family.

When quizzed about the necessity of implementing another round of lockdowns, Marcos said, "no more lockdowns because we cannot afford it anymore."

"The Filipinos have been through so much hardship. There have been a lot of talks about violations of protocol, but they just shrug it off and say 'di bale nang magkasakit basta may trabaho ako (It doesn't matter even if I am sick, as long as I have a job)," he added.