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3 Reasons Why I am Worried about Education During this Pandemic

The last four weeks or so, we have seen how the delivery of basic education has shifted significantly from face-to-face to a myriad of forms, masked by fancy labels as synchronous (e.g. fully online, virtual classes), blended (e.g. a mix of online and face to face instructions allowed only in specific contexts), and distance modular (e.g. learner-paced learning based on scheduled learning modules, done either through paper or web-based learning management systems).There have been significant apprehensions from different people, including parents such as myself.  Firstly, there is the problem of weak internet connectivity.   We all know that the technological infrastructure is not ready for a fully online learning delivery. There have been serious complaints in the past three years on the inability of telecommunications companies to deliver on their promised connection speed.  Based on statistics, our country has one of the slowest internet speed across the Asia Pacific.  Second, we kn…
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The Rise of the Local Online Sellers (and how we can raise them higher)

When the whole province of Bohol was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in March 2020,  all business establishments were ordered closed except public markets, slaughterhouses, supermarkets and grocery stores, hospitals and health facilities, pharmacies and drug stores, and other essential businesses.  When the province transitioned to general community quarantine, some two months later, restaurants, service establishments, and other businesses as bookstores, accounting and legal offices, publishing and printing, are allowed to open but at 50% capacity. Throughout this period, the island province was closed to tourists and ports of entry were closed to incoming travelers, except for locally-stranded individuals and returning OFWs.  With these restrictions, it is unavoidable that businesses will have significant losses in revenues. Based on our study on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on Tagbilaran City, the service sector reported the worst decline in sales. Before the ECQ…

If you are living a comfortable life during this pandemic, be thankful and please share your blessings

I volunteered to conduct a city-wide research on the socio-economic impacts of COVID 19 to the city of Tagbilaran. My team at Step Up Consulting just felt that if we want to chart a better future post-pandemic, we need to base our plans, projects, and even our day-to-day decisions on data. And we have to be part of or contribute to the solution however way we can.    I have been working on data for development for six years now and I strongly advocate for evidenced-based policy or programming, especially in a context where some of our leaders base their decisions on what they hear from their friends or what they see on social media.One of the things we did, as part of the multi-methods research, was to engage in short but deep conversations with tricycle drivers – one of those severely affected by the lockdown.For most of the people in the city, we move around using tricycles and the tricycle drivers we interact with on a daily basis have been the refuge of several commuters, rain or …

5 Ways to Build a Resilient and Sustainable Business: Lessons from Balai Cacao

The COVID 19 pandemic has significantly changed the way we live.For more than two months now, most of us, by force of governmental regulation, have stayed at home, avoided public and even social gatherings, set aside various recreation activities, and abstained from going to religious services.  These new patterns of behaviour, regardless of the involuntariness of its nature, have altered not only how we think and do things; they also significantly altered the way we produce and consume things.Businesses are severely affected by this pandemic.Mall sales had gone down, not only because they were closed for a while, but also because many people can no longer go there, including children and the elderly, (and those without quarantine passes) even when lockdown rules were relaxed. When religious celebrations were halted, sales for flowers and candles went low.When borders were locked, revenues of car rental companies, tour guides, and tourism-related establishments plummeted to nothing.Bu…

10 Lessons from Loay, Bohol on How Local Government Leaders Should Fight Decisively Against the COVID – 19 Pandemic

“Some people ask me why I was very quick to deliver social assistance to people during this crisis. It’s simple. I have experienced myself having nothing. I can easily empathize with what people are experiencing on the ground.”
     - Atty.  Hilario “Lahar’ Ayuban              Mayor, Loay, Bohol

The COVID-19 crisis that plagues the world is impacting adversely every sector and every individual globally. In the Philippines, the rate of infection has been steadily increasing, partly brought about by the availability of test kits, and the lack of compliance with strict preventive measures. The ability of the country to combat and survive this pandemic is put to the test.  Despite the missteps on the part of the national government, local government officials all over the country have been facing the crisis head-on, with some local chief executives finding creative ways to stem the spread of the virus through preventive measures while at the same time temper the economic impacts on the li…

4 Reasons Why Following Bishop Abet on FB is a Good Thing To Do in this Time of Crisis

I met Bishop Abet Uy for the first time online.
Some three years ago, at the suggestion of a good friend of mine, Fr. Harold Anthony Parilla, I sent Bishop Abet a direct message via FB messenger. He replied, within a day or two and told me how I could proceed with something I wanted to do.I did as was instructed, and some few weeks later, he sent me, via messenger again, a thank-you note.
Such tech-savviness impressed me, especially for a prelate his age. I was not surprised that some weeks later, I learned that the Bishop was using social media to spread God’s message, in very accessible terms. I also personally witnessed events he presided where online footprint was created almost in real-time (or at least a few hours after the event concluded), making us aware of where he was, what he was doing in building God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Currently, his various Facebook accounts have thousands of followers (Teba Yu has 11,744 followers, Abet Uy has 63,337, while the Bishop Abet page h…