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Rough Cuts | They who rise to the situation

In this time of a very devastating global health emergency that is bringing economies of the world on its knees, people and governments have learned to cope with it in various innovative ways.

In our country we have our government, both national and local, virtually emptying the resources in its treasury to be able to help those badly affected by the deadly CoViD 19.

Privately, there are small businesses and even individuals who have the fortune of being economically better than others sharing whatever little extra they have including skills so the disadvantaged can survive in these most trying times of our nation.

One such individual is our friend Cherry Faye Al-ag, wife of former third district councilor and Davao City Vice Mayor Dr. Bernie Al-ag. Cherry is also a former official of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII) and had worked once as the Human Resource Department Manager of the Aboitiz-led power generation firm Hedcor, Inc.

Ms. Al-ag quit her job to concentrate on her growing family business – beauty salons and a travel agency.

With her personally keeping watch of her shops it was only natural that the businesses have nowhere to go but succeed.

Unfortunately for the young entrepreneur, when the CoViD 19 pandemic crash-landed in the country, among the businesses worst affected are salons and travel agencies. What with beauty treatment shops among the first to be shut down because its services require closer personal contact with its clients ? What with travel agencies losing all its customers since one of the measures adopted to prevent the spread of the pandemic is to prevent people from travelling from one place to another?

So Ms. Cherry’s lines of business were virtually hit by a crippling lightning blast. She lost all her clients both in the salon as well as in the travel agency businesses. As a consequence Ms. Cherry suddenly found herself deprived of income from where she pays her employees who are dependent on the operation of the former’s businesses.

However, Ms. Al-ag did not just give up on her responsibility as employer. While making do with what remains of her resources she helped her workers find new skills that may be useful while the quarantine was in effect and restrictions on close personal contacts and travels were strictly imposed.

The skills taught include food preparation and others that can help produce items needed by families while confined in their respective residences. The former DCCCII official also taught her workers skills in on-line selling of the items they produce and how to have them delivered to the buyers.

From what we learned, Ms. Al-ag’s employees were able to help their families survive during the more than two months of no work even as they were kept busy inside their homes producing marketable items.

Of course Ms. Al-ag is only one of many small employers and individuals who made sacrifices just to ease a little the suffering of those affected by the measures adopted by the government to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
We take our hat off to Ms. Al-ag and to the many small business owners and individuals like her for their act of kindness and cooperation in the national effort of healing the nation as one.

Meanwhile newly installed DCCCII President John Tria was reported to have humbly admitted the possibility of a huge negative impact of the CoViD 19 pandemic on the remaining two quarters’ growth of Davao City’s economy.

According to Tria the chamber is working on strategies that can help Davao businesses slowly back on its feet even as the organization is not certain as to when the pandemic finally ends. Meaning, Tria believes that businesses should be extremely careful in charting its direction while normalcy of the situation is not yet in sight.

The new business chamber president in effect, was saying that the organization is encouraging its members to shift focus on businesses that may be viable in these uncertain times.

To the government, Tria said the Chamber is hoping the city can reduce taxes levied at the local level of governance. The organization also plans to appeal to the national government to have corporate taxes reduced while businesses are still reeling from the impact of the global health disaster.

We can only hope and pray that the Chamber’s plea can be responded to positively by the government whose coffers are virtually empty due to the financial requirements in addressing the CoViD 19 pandemic.

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