Mass testing should be ramped up to restore investor and consumer confidence as the economy reopens, San Miguel Corporation (SMC) President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) Ramon Ang said.
In an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Exchange, Ang urged businessmen to resume operations but stressed that testing remains a key component to keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control.
“We cannot lock down forever because people need to work to pay for their meals. I think no country in the world can afford to lock down today, but we have to strike a balance,” he said.
“If we want the economy to start growing again, what’s most important is testing, quick testing… If you want confidence of the people to start doing business, you must have mass testing,” Ang added.
He said the government should target to test at least 10 million people. He shared that testing is a key component in SMC’s operations, with employees tested before they can get back to work.
Ang said businessmen should take on a more active role in restarting the economy to help workers who have been hit hard by the pandemic.
“We should convince all the Filipino businessmen to invest and start working because if they are all going to hide in their homes, the investors or the financiers will all be okay but their employees will lose jobs,” he said. “Later on, those employees — what will happen to their family?”
SMC recently opened its own COVID-19 testing center along EDSA, which can process 4,000 swab samples for RT-PCR tests daily.