The private sector has Vice President Leni Robredo’s gratitude as she recognized on Monday, June 21, the work they did in helping the government in its COVID-19 response by shouldering the cost of vaccinating their employees in order to attain herd immunity.
As the keynote speaker during the Employers Confederation of the Philippines’ (ECOP) 42nd National Conference of Employers, the vice president said that “the private sector plays a critical role in any effort” to build a better world for all.
“I know, for example, that you have proved invaluable in speeding up our immunization efforts – from directly procuring vaccines from manufacturers, to shouldering the cost of storing the vaccines, to programs to deploy them widely, swiftly, and efficiently.”
“Your generosity has enabled government to fill in the gaps as we journey towards herd immunity – the first and most significant step towards full economic recovery. Thank you for all that you do for our people,” Robredo added.
The private sector has been active in trying to procure COVID-19 vaccines for their employees, even complying with a policy that requires them to donate 50 percent of their purchased doses for government use.
Groups of companies such as Ayala, SM, Razon, and San Miguel, among others, have all procured vaccines for their employees and their families.
This will help the country inoculate as many people as possible with the COVID-19 vaccines, and eventually achieve herd immunity where the majority of the population becomes immune to the virus.
By achieving herd immunity, the Philippines can reopen the economy and lift quarantine restrictions.
But more than intensifying and scaling up efforts to create jobs and new investments, Robredo believes there is something more that needs to happen.
“We must re-establish the fundamentals – good governance, integrity, respect for the law, the stability of rules and regulations, and the sanctity of contracts. Beyond doing business, we are called to foster a world (in which) truth-telling, honesty, and integrity remain imperative,” she said.
The vice president called on the private sector to “be on the frontlines” as the country continues “to pave the way towards a better normal.”
Robredo also asked them to “assert that good governance matters” because “it has always mattered.”
Although the pandemic has thrown the economy in shambles and disrupted lives, she believes that “every crisis is an opportunity to build a better world for Filipinos.”
The lady official cited the Filipinos’ “long history” of emerging victorious over challenges.
“We may, at times, forget who we really are. But we must remember: We are Filipinos. Strong of spirit and open-hearted. Ingenious. Always ready to reach out and lift each other up, especially in times of need,” Robredo said.
“We are stronger than any struggle before us and I believe in this with my whole heart: With faith, with conviction, and most of all, in solidarity, we will overcome any challenge,” she added.