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5 Things Filipinos Can Expect To Change After The Pandemic

The phenomenon which is the COVID-19 has left all of us in limbo, making life even more uncertain in the past weeks and perhaps in the coming months or years. With that, it’s inevitable to wonder where will we be a year from now? Or even in 10 years? The measures that we’ve all taken to counter the pandemic has definitely made life completely different – for better and maybe for the worse.

With no other choice but to socially distance ourselves from each other, we’ve also turned to different social and workplace practices that were unforeseen considering the limitations of the Philippines’ technological landscape. It’s also made us step back and ponder on what really matters and how to get things done practically. 

Here are the things that the pandemic has made us rethink and perhaps adapt further moving forward.

1. The future is on the internet 

The quarantine measure has made everything less accessible to everyone, from food items to banking services. The internet is perhaps one of the saving graces of this pandemic. It made everything a tad less difficult to accomplish like paying bills, sending money over to another person, communicating, and even working.

Its significance cannot be understated!

The internet basically paved the way for unconventional modes of day-to-day essential deliveries to be accomplished. And it took a pandemic for many of us to realize that the future is actually on the internet. 

If you want your business to survive, perhaps adopt an online platform where you can still sell your products and services like how many restaurants who are on FoodPanda and GrabRab Food are still able to sustain operations despite the pandemic. 

Where is this going to end up?

While the internet is not scarce in the Philippines, not everyone has this degree of recognition of its value and how it could transform our lives. The pandemic has basically forced everyone to adapt to this new normal where we can just get our things done through an app or through the internet. 

From online banking, food delivery, to even work opportunities, the Philippines will surely move up further towards becoming a more technologically inclined society than it has ever been. 

2. Expect the job landscape to change forever

Work from home jobs has been around for more than a decade in the Philippines. Job portals such as Upwork (formerly known as Odesk). Onlinejobs.ph, Easyoutsource, and even English as Second Language portals have long been providing informal employment to many Filipinos even before everyone had internet access in their homes. That’s why it’s no surprise that the Philippines placed sixth in the world as the fastest growing market for the gig industry according to a report by Payoneer. 

Despite the relentless growth of work-from-home jobs, it hasn’t been getting enough recognition that it deserves – not from the government and even from the people who aren’t in the industry. Due to the social distancing measure that we all have to abide by, work from home arrangements 

While it has always been under the radar for the Philippines, especially as a means to remedy the horrendous traffic in Manila, the ECQ has served as an opportunity to test this method and ultimately prove that it’s actually doable for many companies. 

What’s the implication on jobs after the pandemic?

The pandemic has completely changed the employment landscape, even in the Philippines where the internet is among the worst in the world.  More people will be seeking work from home employment opportunities and at the same time, more companies might consider implementing a work from home arrangement, even after the pandemic. 

3. Education will evolve with more methods of delivery

While the safest assumption right now in the education sector is that it still remains uncertain especially for public schools where technological advantages like online classes are but a pipe dream, the education sector still remains determined in making it work for students.

While DepEd wants to implement an alternative delivery mode such as online learning, the fact remains internet connection, and gadgets such as laptops, computers, and mobile phones remain unreachable luxuries for many learners. However, DepEd is currently preparing their printed instruction packets of self-learning kits for those students who are without access to technology for the upcoming school year, according to DepEd Undersecretary Diosdado San Antonio  They are also eyeing the possibility of delivering their lessons through television and radio.

Either way, it seems like our education sector is willing to adopt certain methods previously not considered before the pandemic, with or without technology. 

Education after the pandemic

Yes, we’ve put it out there that not everyone has the luxury to afford technology, but for those who can and for those educational institutions who have the resources to do so, online learning seems to be the future. 

Some schools are in fact already preparing to go full-on online education in the meantime by offering loan options to their students for their equipment and internet and even providing free iPads for their students. The question now is whether other schools will follow through and if it will stick for good. 

Nothing is really certain but for sure, more students and even institutions will finally see the value that online education can bring to the table. It wasn’t common in the Philippines before, but this pandemic really changed the game. 

4. More inclusive healthcare (hopefully)

This goes both ways – for the citizens and the healthcare worker.  The pandemic is another major eye-opener for the Philippines that they need to take better care of their healthcare workers and to make the system more inclusive to everyone!

On one hand, the Philippine government has finally acknowledged the fact that it’s losing healthcare workers due to being overworked and underpaid. While the Philippines can’t really match the salaries that other countries are offering to our nurses, at the very least, the government has recognized where it’s falling short in the issue of taking care of the healthcare workers.

On the other hand, Philhealth and DOH have shown us that it is willing to shoulder the expenses of COVID-19 patients down to the last cent (even if it will balloon up to a million per patient). The pandemic has also exposed the weakness of our state insurance. Due to that, it’s never been a better time to finally push for the materialization of the Universal Healthcare Law (UHC).

The healthcare system and the healthcare workers post-pandemic

Healthcare professionals have finally gained the recognition that it deserves. This crisis is probably the golden ticket for our nurses to finally get the much-desired salary increase they’ve been protesting for all these years. 

On the other hand, the pandemic has given a more pressing reason to finally roll out the much-awaited  Universal Healthcare Law.

5. A national ID system is a necessity

If there’s anything that the social amelioration program has unmasked, it’s the weakness of our system to deliver government assistance programs to its people due to the lack of a centralized record, like a national identification system.  The disbursement of financial assistance has been very inefficient; while identifying citizens who are qualified to avail it was very slow and inaccurate. Meanwhile, contact tracing has also been very inefficient – all of these would have been easier for the government and the citizens if a national ID system had been in place. 

The national ID will face less opposition

While there is no holding back the PhilSys (the country’s national ID system) from finally launching soon this year, it is worth noting that the pandemic has given the people more reason to look forward to this. Not only will this ease various processes that involve government transactions, it will also make life easier on a day-to-day basis like banking. 

At the end of it all, this pandemic showed us that our society as a whole is capable of adapting when the need calls for it. It doesn’t have to take a year or a decade of transition to adjust to the demands of something as crucial as the COVID-19. Apparently, it’s only a matter of motivation for us to soldier on towards a new normal despite the untested waters.

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