Date: March 11th, 2020
At the onset of the coronavirus, FFOS had publicly called for a national consultation for the development of a coordinated national preparedness and emergency response plan. This should include a mitigation and contingency planning so as to minimize the risk
and/or impact of this national threat. There has been no response and panic is being encouraged because we are left in the dark. We have not heard from our Leaders on any socio-economic emergency response plan!
With confirmed regional cases, is this wise? Shouldn’t civil society at least be entitled to be heard?
Public health is not the only risk. For instance, if our citizens contract the virus, there may be the need for a shutdown of schools, entire towns or any large public gatherings/political meetings etc. as seen in other infected countries. Goods, leisure and service supply businesses will be crippled except for those supplying items of necessity such as gas, food, medicines and cleaning agents. All other businesses will more than likely suffer the
consequence of almost zero patronage. Therefore, consideration should be given to a discussion on how to minimize the impact of a potentially impending national threat inclusive of a synchronized response plan.
What mitigation measures are planned to minimize the impact on our workers, our mortgage and loan debtors, our small vulnerable businesses, our taxi drivers …… what exactly is the national plan if the economy is impacted? We have seen the Italian Government take affirmative measures through the suspension of mortgage payments amid the Coronavirus outbreak in an attempt to safeguard the financial well-being of all
Italian citizens. Will this be part of our planning? Why are all primary stakeholders locked out? Chaos will ensue if we are not prepared.
Public consultation should include discussion on:
- A tiered response with separate protocols depending on the severity
- A national emergency plan with supporting legislation to command
ALL employers to ensure that workers are paid at least a percentage or their full salary so as to minimize their domestic economic crisis and to ensure employees are in a financially stable position to support themselves during the national shutdown.
- A plan whereby all Banks suspend all interest and mortgage
payments on all loans for the duration of the potential national shut down,
- The establishment of a fund to assist families in need during this
- The suspension of rent by all Landlords until economic normalcy
This is a war! We must have a participatory approach in defence of each other and our