Slowly going up

Published July 16, 2020, 10:00 PM

by Fil C. Sionil

The nations economic managers, in consonance with the dance movements choreographed by the inter-agency Task Force (IATF), are using a more upbeat song to waltz with the pandemic rather than slow drag.

As per advice of presidential spokesman Harry Roque, the citizenry may just have to dance with the virus which will be in our midst  until that coveted vaccine has been developed, safe, and ready  for consumers. But there’s a need to  spark consumer confidence, the basic foundation of the domestic economy, which has virtually disappeared due to the lockdown.

How are you holding up thus far? Did we strike a streak of bad luck this 2020? Our battle with this invisible enemy is not yet over, and now there are reports this news last week of another possible pandemic – a return the dreaded bubonic plaque dubbed  “Black Death.”  Infectious disease physician Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda of Stanford Health Care assured, however, that today’s authorities have a better “understanding of how this disease is transmitted,” unlike in the 14th century.

Apologies for the digression, but, seriously, here we are already in a perilous situation and now there’s a possibility of an infectious disease. Another health curve ball.

Our environment is getting more scary. Two APCs were seen roaming around the city of Navotas, which went back into strict ECQ. Although I believe it’s the best way to make the “pasaway” residents in the area  heed the call of the authorities to follow the health protocol to stop the spread of the virus.

The metropolis will continue to be under GCQ for two more weeks, a decision that runs counter on the position taken by the economic managers for NCR to graduate MGCQ.

The President would have wanted to return NCR to ECG because of the increase in positives but the economic managers stressed the need to perk up further consumer spending, the very foundation of domestic economic activities.

Although most economists do not want to see the ugly head of inflation to show and neither do we, the ordinary consuming public, as it reduces our purchasing power,  a rise  in inflation to an affordable level is one positive indicator that consumer confidence is slowly coming back. The re-opening of sectors of the economy to 50 percent capacity  is a contributory factor.

This also answer requests for updates I’ve received on my wall, one of whom is Laine Laudico, who used to go to the Saturday organic weekend market but is now based in Hong Kong. I admit consumer confidence is slowly coming back.

The number of shoppers at the weekend market showed an increase. With more buyers and more sellers, the management of the Salcedo market further extended to 2 p.m.,  back to pre-pandemic. However, it opens at 7 a.m. not 6 a.m. as it used to. There’s no more dining area.

Favorite vendors are back: like Ka Narcing who specializes in Batangas goodies such as sinaing na tulingan and dulong in dried camias, suman. Her stall is in the same spot pre-lockdown. Mang Boy is occupying a different spot. He sells broiled milkfish (Bangus), dried fish sword as thin as bacon, deep-fried to a crunch. Chef Sandy Daza  has his previous slot.

And the prices? The salted duck egg which in the past cost P12 apiece is now three for P50; broiled milkfish (inihaw na bangus stuffed with tomato and onions) from P180-P200, depending on the size, now costs P250-P280.

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