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Cebu biz groups: PBB is our passport to new normal

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - Reporter/CDN Digital | May 17,2020 - 04:14 PM
Cebu City's exciting skyline |CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Cebu City’s exciting skyline |CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Business groups in Cebu are calling for ’understanding, compassion, and solidarity’ amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis while renewing their support of the Project Balik Buhay (PBB).

This was the message of a joint statement from the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Philippine Retailers Association-Cebu Chapter, Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce, and MEPZEM Chamber Inc.

“In these trying times, we call for Understanding, Compassion, and Solidarity amongst us – the government and its agencies, the private and business sectors, and ordinary citizens as we urge for multi-stakeholder support and collaboration in finding ways to help each other survive,” it read.

“Our survival as a people depends on our ability to balance between health measures i.e. prevention, control, and treatment of the virus and resumption of economic activities to provide a livelihood to our people. The Project Balik Buhay (PBB) is our passport to achieve this balance and usher us to the New Normal,” they added.

The statement was issued on May 17, 2020 or a week since PBB commenced in Cebu’s three largest cities.

The groups have earlier expressed support on PBB, the name of the ‘strategized rapid mass testing’ being conducted in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu.

READ MORE: Business groups support Project Balik Buhay 

As of May 15, PBB reported a 63 percent turnout rate from the three cities, with majority coming from Mandaue City. The program, initially scheduled to end by May 15, was extended to May 21 due to a low turnout during its first few days, prompting health experts to continue to gather more blood samples from the communities.

Out of the three cities, only Lapu-Lapu City will be transitioning to a more relaxed General Community Quarantine (GCQ) while the rest remained under ECQ. With GCQ, several business establishments are expected to resume their operations.

The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in the Philippine economy to contract for the first time in recent history.

READ MORE: PH GDP contracts 0.2% in Q1; COVID-19 pandemic ends 84 -quarter growth streak

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