MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo is urging employers to tap technology to help more people during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure that "no one is left behind."
Lockdowns to stop the disease have forced many businesses to tap into technologies that would have taken much longer to adopt, and many who lost their jobs are jumping into online entrepreneurship, Robredo said.
However, many Filipinos still struggle to connect to the internet, the Vice President said during a virtual gathering of the National Conference of Employers on Monday.
Employers, she said, should "continue to push the bounds of how we can harness technology to reach more of our people, especially those who need our help the most."
"As we face the challenges brought by the virus, the imperative becomes clear: Embrace technology in a way that manifests a world where no one is left behind," Robredo said.
"If there is anything that this pandemic has taught us, it is that we are all interconnected. The suffering of one redounds to the suffering of all; just as the progress of the last, the least, and the lost redounds to the progress of all," she added.
Robredo delivered her speech on the eve of the return of Metro Manila and 4 surrounding provinces to stricter lockdowns to arrest the spread of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
While some businesses may find it difficult to downsize their operations again during the lockdown, the public must realize that health and the economy "do not stand in opposition to each other."
"Best practices in the world have shown: An effective health care yields a more resilient economy. Stop the virus, and businesses open earlier, employees get to work safer, and our clientele walk into our doors sooner," said Robredo.
"Health is the front-end domino; address it, and the rest of our challenges become less daunting," she added.