“Our greatest hope comes from the knowledge that the Savior broke the bands of death. His victory came through His excruciating pain, suffering, and agony. He atoned for our sins if we repent.” – James E. Faust
It is becoming apparent now that the pandemic will prolong our agony.
Some of us are waiting for 2020 to end hoping that the pandemic will go when the year 2020 becomes a history.
Christmas 2020, which will be celebrated in the Christian world four months from now, will definitely be the saddest in mankind’s modern history; we are now experiencing the worst economic downturn in the history of the industrialized world.
The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has plunged the Philippines into its worst recession and it’s only a matter of time before the country will eventually dip into a depression.
The unemployment rate is perhaps the best measurement by which to judge if we are in a depression.
And many Filipinos today are not only unemployed but also underemployed.
Joblessness may be close to depression standards by some metrics.
Let’s brace ourselves for what will happen next as we all struggle to survive and overcome the economic dark clouds hovering in the horizon.
If we are mentally and emotionally intact, we can surmount the crisis as we enter 2021 five months from now with a hope that by that time, the vaccine has already been discovered.
Considerable uncertainty remains as the health of the economy will be dictated by the coronavirus’ trajectory.
If the pandemic persists into the last quarter of the year, the global contraction could be twice as severe and the anticipated rebound in 2021 could fail to materialize if additional waves of the virus spread later in the year, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Over the next two years, it is feared the pandemic could shave $9 trillion from global gross domestic product, or G.D.P.
In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF projected that the global economy would contract by three percent in 2020, an extraordinary reversal from early this year, when the fund forecast that the world economy would outpace 2019 and grow by 3.3 percent.
This year’s fall in output would be far more severe than the last recession, when the world economy contracted by less than one percent between 2008 and 2009.
The discovery of 4,000 “jumpers” since July by the “Oplan Valeria,” MORE Power’s city-wide crackdown on power pilferers, is another sign that many electric consumers in Iloilo City are not really honest, or they don’t intend to be honest and cooperate with the power distributor even if we have laws against their misdeed.
The campaign against power “jumpers” has been launched a long time ago, or even before the expiration of the franchise of the Panay Electric Company (PECO), yet we continue to hear reports of the discovery of illegal connections each time surprised inspections are conducted.
The putting up of “jumpers” in the villages will not prosper if some village officials are not in cahoots with the wrongdoers.
Either these village officials are playing blind, or they and their relatives are benefitting from these illegal electrical connections.
Suspects in illegal drugs are killed instantly for “resisting arrest” during police raids.
Grafters in government, the rapacious officials who are milking dry the Bureau of Customs, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Agriculture, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, the PhilHealth, Department of Tourism, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, among other notoriously corrupt agencies, can get away with murder by either tendering their resignation or going to the hospital for surgery.
“P_tang ina papatayin ko kayo!”
Yes, patay insekto.
Alex P. Vidal, who is based in New York City, used to be the editor for two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ