Let’s get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
As we gradually open more of our economy, we can expect the level of infections to rise. How can businesses protect their employees while keeping their stores open? What’s the best defense for companies at this time when there is still no cure or vaccine available on the market?
From the very start, I have advocated for mass testing as a way to create this visibility. Rapid test kits and RT-PCR tests are a means for us to achieve this goal. They are used in tandem as we wait to confirm the validity of the pooled PCR testing in a study we are currently conducting. Only through massive, targeted testing would we be able to map the scope of the infection within our areas of control – be it the workplace or a barangay – and take the appropriate steps forward. Only when we test can we trace and isolate. No more, no less.
Testing cannot be done in one quick swoop. It is not a one-time exercise and a magic cure. It must be done regularly and the individuals that passed the test the previous day may be tested the next day. We cannot let our guard down. Vigilance is key in winning the war. If we want to keep the limited mobility and business operations offered under general community quarantine (GCQ) and eventually move towards modified GCQ, we need to create visibility that is critical in keeping the health situation under control. Once infection levels stabilize, we can open the economy even further and save as many jobs and livelihoods as we can.
Yesterday, we had a virtual presser with three cities who have partnered with Project ARK (Antibody rapid test Kits). As part of a broad-based effort to offer community-level visibility of COVID-19 infection rates, we screened a total of 4,150 individuals in our rollout across Las Piñas, Makati, and Taguig. City Mayors Abigail Binay of Makati, Imelda Agular of Las Piñas, and Taguig epidemiologist Luis Sy Jr. were also present.
Generally, the results in the three cities prove that there are fewer infections and the number of cases in these particular areas has been contained. Makati, only listed one positive, Taguig also with one COVID positive individual, and Las Piñas with three positive. The individuals presumed positive via rapid tests were immediately directed to appropriate hospital facilities for a complimentary RT-PCR swab testing.
This July 14, we are organizing a special webinar that will highlight the importance of keeping the economy open to save both lives and livelihood, including jobs amidst the pandemic. The discussion will include the collaboration of private and business sectors in the game-changing mission of making testing affordable and accessible through pooled testing. We will also look at the overall health management amidst the pandemic and the core elements necessary to succeed such as the health safety measures, testing, data mapping, tracing, and health infrastructure.
We will be joined by Rep. Joey Salceda, ARK-PCR private sector chief implementor Rep. Janette Garin, Philippine-American Academy of Science and Engineering (PAASE) president Gisela Concepción, head of Philippine Children’s Medical Center COVID-19 testing laboratory Raymundo W. Lo, president and CEO of Filinvest Development Corp. Josephine Gotianun-Yap, Project ARK medical team leader and clinical associate professor, UP College of Medicine Minguita Padilla.
Hopefully, through the webinar, MSMEs will learn more about how they can protect their negosyo and ensure the safety not just of their employees, but also of their consumers. We want to see moving forward that by the third quarter and fourth quarter, recovery starts to stabilize. That will only happen if we are able to contain the level of infection. If we are not able to contain the health situation, then the economy will suffer. It is not just the lives of people we need to save, but also the jobs and livelihoods of MSMEs.
Due to imposed regulations brought about by the pandemic, we shifted Kapatid Mentor Micro-Enterprises and Money Market Encounter (KMME-MME) to an online platform last April 16, making it more accessible to MSEs nationwide. The shift allows us to provide entrepreneurs with an online platform to learn from mentors.
KMME-MME Online, which was developed as a practical delivery mechanism for mentorship modules, is used to educate and equip MSEs with the necessary know-how so they can successfully navigate and thrive in challenging business climates. We are proud to have produced 45 graduate-mentees from the first batch of the KMME-MME online program.
Moreover, in celebration of our 15th year in Go Negosyo, we will also digitize one of our flagship mentorship programs, Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP). KAMMP aims to nurture and sustain agri-business in the country through mentorship. Industry practitioners will serve as mentors who will provide guidance and assistance to agricultural cooperatives or associations, and agri-enterprises.
We are targeting at least 850 graduate-mentees under KAMMP Online by the end of 2020. In addition to providing continued education, KAMMP Online will help link our mentees to potential markets and money partners, opening up paths to new and sustainable revenue streams.
With COVID-19 upending lives and businesses all over the world, both KMME-MME and KAMMP online are proving to be all the more relevant and necessary in helping businesses adapt and unlock further levels of growth in this new normal.