Concepcion taps expert advisory group on transition to normalcy, economic rebound

Published June 23, 2022, 4:40 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose ‘Joey’ Concepcion III is planning to form an advisory group of multidisciplinary experts to guide the private sector as the country transitions into normalcy after battling the Covid-19 pandemic for more than two years.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion speaks during the Laging Handa public briefing on Monday, May 23. (Screenshot from PCOO Facebook page)

In a statement, Concepcion said the initial group would include some of the country’s most respected experts on medicine, public health, economics, and research and data analytics, who will advise the private sector on possible pathways to safely and successfully aid the country’s economic rebound.

Concepcion will meet with the select group on June 24 to seek their advice and align with their proposed approaches to transitioning to the new normal.

Among the experts invited are:

  • National Task Force Against Covid-19 Special Adviser Dr. Teddy Herbosa
  • Covid-19 Technical Working Group Chairperson Dr. Nina Gloriani
  • Vaccine Expert Panel member Dr. Rontgene Solante
  • University of the Philippines (UP) Manila Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Director Dr. Edsel Salvaña
  • Philippine College of Physicians President Dr. Maricar Limpin
  • Health reform advocate Dr. Tony Leachon
  • OCTA Research fellows Dr. Michael Tee, Prof. Ranjit Rye, Dr. Guido David, and Fr. Nicanor Austriaco
  • Economist Romy Bernardo
  • Go Negosyo Lead Advisor Josephine Romero

According to Concepcion, they chose the experts because the public listens to them.

“We chose these experts because they have credibility with our citizens. People listen to their advice,” he said.

He added that the meeting would center around three main points that he believes are essential in finding ways for the country to move forward: the Alert Level System, wearing face masks, and Covid-19 vaccines.

“The country is beset with other urgent problems on the economic front, but the fact is, Covid is still very much around,” he said.

“We need to find ways so that we save our livelihoods without unnecessarily losing our hard-won victories against the virus,” he added.

Concepcion cited the need for more clarity in communicating to the people the many and complicated aspects of the pandemic.

“People are confused as to what advice to follow. Is it safe to wear masks outdoors? What conditions warrant the raising of alert levels? How come Covid vaccines are not available at the pharmacies? These are very simple questions, but there seems to be a need to present a clearer picture of what we can and cannot safely do now,” he said.

The Go Negosyo founder further explained that assigning more responsibility to individuals might now be necessary to protect themselves from infection and severe illness.

“People now have awareness of the dangers of Covid and basic knowledge of how to prevent severe infections,” Concepcion said.

“I think it is now time to set a clear path for how the country must transition into a state of normalcy, and encourage people to take charge of their own health,” he added.