MANILA – The local government of Marikina is shifting to digital marketing and selling of products to revive the city’s manufacturing industries hard-hit by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said Monday.
“Almost 80 percent of various manufacturing industry’s production has stopped, while the 20 percent were able to continue because of using digital strategies in their marketing and selling,” Teodoro said in Filipino during a virtual briefing with Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
Marikina City is dubbed as the shoe capital of the Philippines with its thriving industry of shoe factories.
However, some manufacturing businesses in the city were forced to close, some have reduced staffing and many local businesses which stayed afloat continue to endure the impacts of the health crisis.
Teodoro said the local government has been implementing strategies to avoid massive economic impacts of the pandemic and backing up those manufacturing workers to survive amid the pandemic.
“Kaya nga nagshishift kami ngayon ng platform sa pagma-market at pagtitinda sa digital platform (That’s why we are shifting into digital marketing and selling platform),” he said.
Constant consultation, monitoring
The local government, he said, is conducting constant consultation with the businessmen, manufacturers, and other industry groups to monitor their economic status so that they would be able to withstand the industrial effects of the pandemic.
The economic status of the manufacturing industries is gradually monitored as they open businesses amid the pandemic, he added.
Teodoro said the government’s health protocols and preventive measures to combat Covid-19 should strictly be followed by the business sectors.
“Kailangan na masiguro natin na Covid-free ang kanilang work setting para hindi matigil yung production o kaya yung kanilang operation (We need to ensure that their work setting is Covid-free so that their productions or operations would continue),” he said.
The city government also conducts enhanced targeted testing in various sectors in Marikina, he said, particularly for local industry employees and manufacturing workers.
“Maliban dun may surveillance po tayong ginagawa upang sa ganun malaman kung may resurgence ang Covid-19 dun sa work settings nila. Titigil ang lahat eh kapag may Covid (Aside from that, we are doing surveillance to find out if there is a resurgence of Covid-19 in their work settings. Everything will stop when there is a Covid),” the mayor said.
Teodoro said the local government is also assisting the business industries to restore the businesses by providing them a reconfiguration plan that can be useful during the pandemic, which includes observing minimum health and safety standards.
“Of course relief assistance could help, but what we are doing here in Marikina to preserve jobs, is to keep the business economy afloat. That’s important,” Teodoro said.
To ease the transportation concerns of workers and other local employees, the local government, in coordination with various manufacturing industries, provides free shuttle services for them.
Meanwhile, Teodoro emphasized the importance of public participation in embracing the ‘new normal,’ saying “you cannot rely everything to the government.”
He then urged everyone to stay safe against the risks of Covid-19, observe physical distancing, practice handwashing, and the wearing of face masks.
Community quarantine’s fate
On the other hand, Teodoro said whatever the fate of the community quarantine in Metro Manila, local leaders must be prepared to impose the new normal, particularly the minimum health standards.
“Kung sakali man na madowngrade or kung sakali man na maupgrade we should always be prepared to implement community quarantine (In case the community quarantine is downgraded or upgraded, we should prepare for it),” he said.
The stricter implementation of physical distancing measures and the quarantine protocols should be sustained, Teodoro said.
“We can build a robust and resilient 3T [test, trace, treat] system, napakahalaga yan yung paghahanda para sa in case na may increase sa cases natin (It is very important to be ready in case there is a spike in our cases),” he added. (PNA)