The prices of raw materials are skyrocketing. From basic food items, rice, fish, vegetables, spices and preserves to personal items and effects and utilities. And the price and cost increases are not just pennies, but hundreds of pesos.
The Covid pandemic crisis weighs on us even more and there is no light in the tunnel yet to say that the end of the crisis is imminent.
Besides increased health risks, it means more hardship, especially for the majority of the poor among us, the many unemployed, lower incomes, economically unstable workers, farmers, fishermen, vendors, small jobs, OFWs and their families, transport workers, private sector employees, women, the elderly, people with disabilities (PH) and more.
Right now, we seem to just ignore the worsening economic crisis as we focus on the dreaded and immobilizing effect of the Covid crisis. But the difficulties and more difficulties every day are there, real, and make us even more afraid and panic.
I am not and have no intention of freaking everyone out if they still weren’t, or creating a doomsday scenario. I propose this so that everyone sees the big picture and thus prepare for the worst.
Economic recession hits the United States, North America and the European Union regularly, and will likely reach its peak in 2022. This means that their production will stagnate, the prices of commodities and services will rise, and the The market will contract sharply, public services will collapse and unemployment, famine and deadly hunger engulf the jobless, landless and homeless majority.
It won’t be long before their recession hits us, as we depend on these countries for most of our food and staples, manufacturing, construction and services, which we buy and lend in dollars and pay for. in dollars.
Our multibillion Filipino Overseas Worker (OFW) industry will face a further downturn, as the huge income they contribute to our economy will collapse, and hence fall back on many aspects of our national and local economies. , worsening the already impoverished population that we have. .
Cities and urban centers will be inundated by the migration of rural people who are expected to be displaced by the recession, and by our already bleeding agriculture.
On the other hand, the coin has two sides; for every crisis, there are victims and there are beneficiaries. The wealthy, well-to-do, well-placed class in society is more likely to survive. The leisure and entertainment industry will be kept afloat by the rich and the rich who can easily maintain such habits to keep them away from the stresses of the pressures of life.
And in a crisis, there will always be political opportunists, insatiable stalkers, spinbenders and pin-pullers who will use the crisis situation to lay blame and hatred on the ruling administration, the rulers. in place to advance their personal and selfish political and economic agenda. .
They are only the dregs in our dynamic and progressing society.
In this regard, I will push the challenge to incumbent leaders, national and local, to prepare for this, even as we face the pandemic with more adaptive measures and strategic solutions.
In particular, I am convinced that we have enough champions in some local government units (LGU), like in the government of Bacolod City, Himamaylan City, Bago City, Toboso, Escalante City, Guihulngan City, Bais City, Dumaguete City, Sipalay City and Hinobaan, among others, to prepare us for expected and unexpected scenarios.
I am particularly sensitive to the role played by Bacolod City as a highly urbanized city (HUC) and provincial capital. The readiness of its leadership, development planning systems and objectives, and the resources and personnel it commands can play a central role in effectively dealing with the impact of the crisis on its more than half a year. million inhabitants, and thus extend the spillover effects of its actions to other cities. and cities within reach.
Some field managers and DILG staff, such as the DILG-Western Visatas family, are also stepping up their preparedness to effectively assist LGUs not only for the pandemic and the crisis it has caused, but also for the many complex challenges to be faced. to come.
For all this, may God be with us.