WHAT SHOULD FILIPINOS DO TO SURVIVE RECESSION?
‘LET’S SIT DOWN AND
DISCUSS THE PROBLEM’
By Alex P. Vidal
TORONTO, Canada — The global economic recession has not spared some Filipinos who have migrated both in the United States and North America here and many of them are confused and don’t know what to do.
This was the consensus arrived at in a meeting recently among Philippine Consul General Alejandro Mosquera, Philippine Press Club of Ontario president Tenny Soriano, and Filipino Business Development director Alfredo “Pidoy” Pacis here.
The three agreed to spearhead a conference soon among sectors in the Filipino-Canadian community affected by the economic meltdown.
“We will gather them all and explain to them what is happening in the economy in the US and North America and get their suggestions,” Mosquera said. “There is a need for us to unite and help find a solution to the problem so that they can prepare for whatever repercussions in the future. They must understand what is going on.”
Pacis, for his part, suggested that gathering all sectors in the Filipino-Canadian community and briefing them on the real economic situation “is one way of helping them survive the crisis.”
Pacis said participants should be asked to share their expertise and to formulate plans and programs on how to cushion the impact of the crisis.
“They should be taught about survival tips and how to deal with the situation,” Pacis said. “Let us set aside our pride by minimizing our expenses and tightening our belts. Since everyone is affected, we should not mind what other people are saying about us.
Pacis added that “the most important is liquidity. Those who have liquids (cash) will survive.”
“Instead of whining and complaining and backstabbing, Filipinos in the US and Canada should participate on how to solve the economic problem; they should come in front and not in the back,” explained Pacis.
Pacis urged businessmen not to think of how to profit big at this most difficult time in order to retain their good managers.
“They should assist their people and maintain them so they can pay their bills, too, and, thus, survive the crisis along with them,” Pacis said. “In any business, you have to invest with your people because they also have their bills to pay.”
Soriano, who is a newspaperman, admitted that advertising revenues among community newspapers will also be affected as businesses start to feel the effects of the economic crunch.
Canada had shed 34,400 jobs –70,700 full-time gains–and the employment rate jumped three-tenths of a point to 6.6 percent.
According to Statistics Canada, more worrying for Canadians was the large decrease in full-time employment, and in the private sector, where 59,400 jobs were lost.
The shrinkage was reportedly partially offset by a gain of 36,200 in part-time work and a gain of 20,500 in government hiring.
Canada reportedly managed to eke out a gain of 98,000 jobs, far fewer than the 358,000 gained in 2007 and all in part-time work.
“But the December (2008) report presents a picture of an economy that had been coasting before hitting the wall in the latter part of the year, with manufacturing, sales and construction activity taking a plunge in the face of the spiraling financial crisis,” Statistics Canada reported.
From the record low 5.8 percent in early 2008, the unemployment rate reportedly climbed 0.8 percentage points by the end of the year, with most of the increase occurring in the last quarter.
The latest sector to be hit by the economic tsunami, it added, was construction, which had previously seemed impervious to the recession. In December, the construction industry lost 44,000 jobs as housing starts dipped to the lowest level in seven years the previous month, it was reported.
Other industries to lose jobs in December included manufacturing, agriculture, forestry, mining and oil.
Offsetting the losses were reportedly gains in transportation and warehousing, up 23,000, health care, and social assistance and public administration.
With the price of oil tumbling, Alberta’s economy, meanwhile, also showed signs of slowing and actually recorded the sharpest employment decline of any province with 16,000 fewer jobs, all full-time. That pushed the jobless rate in the province up 0.7 precentage points to 4.1 percent.