With many Filipinos needing to return to work, the country needs to balance the reopening of the economy and containing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Balancing this act requires every Filipino to be part of the solution by participating in the Department of Health’s “BIDA Solusyon” campaign, the department said in a news release on Tuesday.
A part of the nation’s larger strategy to prevent, trace, test, and treat, BIDA Solusyon is the Philippine government’s social and behavioral change campaign to encourage Filipinos to practice the four key preventive behaviors that will help keep themselves and their families safe against the pandemic, it said.
Each letter in BIDA represents one of these behaviors: Bawal walang mask, I-sanitize ang kamay at Iwas-hawak sa mga bagay, Dumistansya ng isang metro, at Alamin ang totoong impormasyon.
The campaign is a partnership among government, private, and development partners, with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) providing financial and technical assistance for the first phase of its rollout.
Various national government agencies have also committed their resources to promote the campaign and more partners will come on board in the coming weeks.
“We welcome and greatly appreciate the support of organizations and individuals to help us raise awareness and educate people on the preventive behaviors that will help us win this fight against Covid-19,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said.
In a virtual media forum last July 10, Vergeire and Department of Finance Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino discussed these methods on achieving the right economic and health balance as the country moves forward.
“Staying safe against Covid-19 isn’t just about doing what’s needed when it’s easy or convenient, it’s about always making a conscious effort to protect your friends and loved ones,” Vergeire said. “Our everyday actions have a potential impact on the spread of the virus and we have to remember that our responsible decisions, no matter how small, can save lives.”
When asked about whether the economy or the health response is a higher priority for the government, Lambino said, “It has become very clear that it’s not a binary choice. Kailangan po natin gawin pareho, kailangan po natin tulungan ang ating mga kababayan na makabalik sa kanilang trabaho at paghahanapbuhay (We need to do this together, we need to help our countrymen to return to their jobs and livelihood), to restart their lives while protecting the lives of others at the same time.”
Meanwhile, Vergeire noted that with 67 percent of the Philippines’ economic activity concentrated in the National Capital Region and Calabarzon, areas that have a large portion of the country’s Covid-19 cases, it is critical for the public to reinforce the personal protective measures espoused by the BIDA campaign.
“In the end, when we get to the grass roots, or if you get to where the rubber hits the road, nasa interaction ng mga tao, sa mga tindahan, sa mga restaurants, at kung saan pa (it is with the interaction of people in the stores, restaurants, and everywhere else),” Lambino said. “Kaya po, itong BIDA ay napaka-importante (That is why this BIDA is very important). It’s a foundation of the economic recovery.”
“For the economy to perform well and for us to regain our growth trajectory ay napakahalagang masunod ang BIDA (it is very important to follow the BIDA) campaign,” he said. (PNA)