Thursday, March 4, 2021
Advertisements
Home Local News MBCCI to local officials: focus on jobs and livelihood generation

MBCCI to local officials: focus on jobs and livelihood generation

Advertisements

BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Vito Cajili is an award-winning film editor, almost the same in stature, some say, to director Peque Gallaga.

These days, he is busy running the family business, a chain of restaurants that includes the popular brand Chicken House, Pepe’s and Balboa.

Chicken House alone used to have 10 branches scattered all over here and nearby cities.

Advertisements

After quarantines over seven months since February this year, Chicken House is down to five branches and has retrenched scores of workers.

A glimpse of traffic in the city streets on the first day of the General Community Quarantine last month. | DNX file photo.
A glimpse of traffic in the city streets on the first day of the General Community Quarantine last month. | DNX file photo.

“It was a painful decision,” Vito tells DNX about the decision to let go of employees, most of whom have become “part of a family” in a business that has survived rocky economic times over more than two decades.

Frank Carbon, executive director of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MBCCI) considers the state of restaurants here, a once bustling metropolis of more than half a million people, as indicative of the state of the local economy.

“Businessmen are digging deep into their pockets but until how long they can do that, we don’t know,” Frank says in an interview on the day MBCCI issued a call to government to focus on generating more jobs and livelihood.

Mallgoers inside a local mall taken last month after Bacolod City went under a General Community Quarantine. | DNX file photo.
Mallgoers inside a local mall taken last month after Bacolod City went under a General Community Quarantine. | DNX file photo.

The business leader, whose group counts at least 200 members in the city alone, sounded upbeat as he pointed out that local businesses are starting to reopen and “slowly recovering.”

Advertisements

Outside investors, however, most engaged in real-estate development, have also slowed down, affecting the pace of their infrastructure projects that employ mass of workers.

The city is now under a General Community Quarantine, a de-escalated status under which restaurants are allowed dine-in at 50 percent capacity and public transportation has been allowed to resume.

To Carbon, two things define the economy now: local businesses have yet to recover their pre-COVID financial strength, and the community is “at its lowest purchasing power level.”

MBCCI proposes several measures to the local government to hasten recovery efforts: to give more focus and resources to jobs and livelihood generation, and maintaining peace and order.

They also proposed that the LGU should avail, if needed, of the financial assistance being offered by the Development Bank of the Philippines and Land Bank, both State-owned banks.

Advertisements

Frank adds programs that will generate jobs and livelihood include restarting infrastructure projects, cash-for-work programs, and micro grants for micro businesses.

These, he hopes, can bring back the confidence of the community to the local economy “and encourage local businesses to reinvest and outside investors to restart their projects.”

Advertisements
Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.

1 COMMENT

Leave a Reply

Latest News

Advertisements

TRENDING