The Philippines has weathered more than its fair share of crises, but COVID-19 is proving to be much more than a formidable challenge.
The worst contraction in gross domestic product since World War II, a 15-year high in unemployment and a mounting death toll from the highly contagious disease are just some of the grim indicators of the damage so far wrought by the coronavirus pandemic that has been raging for more than a year.
But even as dark clouds hover over the economy, the state of public health and the Filipinos’ way of life, rays of light are shining through.
These massive disruptions have forced fundamental changes while creating conditions for new mindsets to form and trends to emerge.
More Filipinos, for example, are turning to entrepreneurship, companies are embracing the digital revolution, new business opportunities across sectors are cropping up and market players are rethinking traditional concepts of capitalism and sustainable development.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer has long been a front-liner, so to speak, in capturing such shifts and reinventions, presenting them as stories of hope and inspiration.
Eager to expand and enhance that role in these extraordinary times, the Inquirer today is launching Project Rebound, an advocacy campaign that seeks to help Filipinos overcome the crisis through relevant and timely information they can use to make informed decisions.
With its proven history as an agenda setter and publication of record, and with its unequaled reach extending beyond the flagship print edition and into the digital space and online communities, the Inquirer is in a unique position to make a difference and contribute to our collective recovery by highlighting individuals, companies and groups who have found ways to turn the crisis into an opportunity for growth.
Project Rebound is part of the ongoing celebration of the Inquirer’s 35th year under the theme “The Drive to Thrive at 35”. The campaign will run for at least 10 months.
Each month, the Inquirer will train the spotlight on key sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, MSMEs, logistics, tourism and insurance where recalibration and redirection are taking place. They will be the subject of webinars, business features and special reports, as well as bite-size information on social media platforms, all designed to keep the conversation going.
There will also be discussions on relevant themes of recovery, sustainability, fintech, the environment, as well as education.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer is proud to have the following Project Rebound partners: Globe, Medicard Philippines, San Miguel Corp., Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Union Bank of the Philippines, British Chamber of Commerce Philippines, Makati Business Club, League of Corporate Foundations, Registered Financial Planners Philippines, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine Software Industry Association, Philippine Association of National Advertisers (PANA), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Subdivision and Housing Developers Association (SHDA), and the Philippine Business for Education (PBED).
PANA Executive Director Bobby Simborio said his association looks forward to the partnership as venue for finding another way to support its members in these trying times.
“We believe that together, we all rise above these challenges. On the road to recovery and rebuilding, there will be new thoughts, new methods and new learnings. Collaboration and creativity are essential to handle this unprecedented obstacle positively and effectively,” Simborio said.
RFP Director Henry Ong acknowledged that amid this unprecedented, it is not easy to stay motivated — but it doesn’t mean one should stop hoping for a better future.
“More than ever, we need each other for support and inspiration. Through Project Rebound, we aim to achieve this,” Ong said.
SHDA said it was throwing its support behind Project Rebound as the campaign was aligned with its own objective of promoting the developers’ welfare and interests.
“SHDA is in synergy with Philippine Daily Inquirer in its efforts to support economic rebound,” SHDA Executive Director Santiago Ducay said.
“Philippine Business for Education is pleased to join Project Rebound and share our insights on how our embattled education sector can recover from this pandemic and contribute to a more resilient Philippines. At PBEd, we believe that education is everybody’s business, as it touches the lives not just of those studying and working in schools, but also of every Filipino family, business, and community. Charting a path to recovery will require all of us working together to ensure that quality education is made accessible to all Filipinos,” said PBED Executive Director Love Basillote.