By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The local business sector is not leaning on answering the call of the Bacolod City government to help fund its planned vaccination program against COVID-19.
Frank Carbon, executive director of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBBCI), said the local businesses are still starting to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 wherein community lockdowns stopped the movement of people forcing the closure of many businesses.
He said that before the city government asked the private businesses for help in purchasing COVID-19 vaccines for the city, they want to know first what is their Economic Recovery Plan.
“We want to know its details, where it will go and is there money for it. Maybe we can realign it to buy vaccines for the people,” Carbon said.
He pointed out that as far as the proposal that local businesses will add to the fund is concerned, many businesses are still unable to open because of the lack of capital.
“Banks cannot lend us money for capital because most of our loans were just restructured. There is a lack of customers and the people do not have purchasing power yet. Many businesses that have decided to open have yet earned any income except to pay their payables,” Carbon said.
Earlier, Councilor Renecito Novero has proposed to call for a meeting with local businesses as part of the city government’s preparations for its purchase of COVID-19 vaccines.
Novero said that the city government has “limited budget to fund the program,” that is why it needs the help of the private sector and the business community.
Carbon said that local businesses have already “raised our hands in exasperation.”
That is happening too even with the country’s biggest companies like PAL and SMART/PLDT, he said.
“That is really how bad our economy is right now,” Carbon added./DGB, WDJ