Place your Ad Here!
How to Overcome “Pandemic Fatigue”
by Philippine Resources - December 16, 2020
By: Dr Carrianne Ewe, Medical Director, International SOS Philippines
The Philippines is approaching its eight-month into the COVID-19 lockdown that began in March. While it feels that we have made it through the more restrictive Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), it is important to note that this ‘unseen enemy’ is likely to be around for some time.
We have adapted to our situation by the wearing of masks and face shields, limiting social gatherings and finding creative ways to connect with others in order to keep safe during this time. It is important to acknowledge that others may be finding this part of the pandemic much harder than the initial stages and may be experiencing “pandemic fatigue”.
Pandemic fatigue, as defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO), is a natural expected reaction to sustained and unresolved adversity in people’s lives. It expresses itself as demotivation to engage in protective behaviours and to seek out information, as well as in feelings of complacency, alienation and hopelessness. The institution argues that this evolves gradually over time and is affected by the cultural, social, structural and legislative environment.
The uncertainty of how long the pandemic will last and the struggle to remain resilient is a common sentiment experienced by many at this time. “Pandemic fatigue” can affect one’s mental health and motivation to adhere to protective measures and increase risky behaviours. Supporting the workforce’s mental health and wellbeing has been a key concern for many employers in addition to the response to this public health crisis. It is widely acknowledged that an employee’s job performance and productivity can be severely affected by health issues and impact an organizations’ business resilience.
Addressing “pandemic fatigue”
Occupational Psychologist, Dr. Rachael Lewis from Birkbeck University, London has observed that while many countries have passed the “peak” of the pandemic, people have not recovered from the “pain” of the whole experience. She shared that many employees at this time may be experiencing higher levels of irritation and frustration with others than during the initial lockdown period.
In the Philippines, while the “peak” of the pandemic is yet to be determined, many employees can relate to these heightened emotions and behavioural changes. Employees had to adapt quickly to a new environment, shifting gears to work from home where communications and logistics infrastructure are not always conducive to productivity. Those who reported to work had to navigate a very limited transportation network at exorbitant prices, further adding to the stress of the situation.
The Philippines National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) revealed a significant increase in monthly hotline calls regarding depression. Numbers rose from 80 calls pre-lockdown to nearly 400 calls as documented in an article by the WHO.
Many are also worried about losing their jobs due to employee layoffs, pay cuts and closure of businesses. Employers have had to step up efforts in an unprecedented manner to support the workforce in a holistic manner.
It is critical for business leaders and employees to adopt a shared responsibility to address these challenges and ensure that the workforce stays flexible and resilient through the pandemic and beyond.
Facing the challenges of “pandemic fatigue” and building workforce resilience
Organisations who value their employees need to build a holistic workforce resilience programme where an employee’s health, safety and wellbeing are prioritised.
International SOS has been working closely with clients throughout the year from the Taal Volcano eruption to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We have provided holistic workforce resilience solutions with tailored advice for the safe return to operations, navigation of the complex COVID-19 testing environment and mental health & wellness programmes.
We have developed a range of tools like the COVID-19 website which is accessible to the public. Our International SOS Assistance App provides clients with the latest health and security situational updates in each country and is available round the clock. Our Medical & Security Directors have led webinars on practical measures and organizational best practices to tackle the ever-evolving challenges faced in this pandemic.
During the early stages of lockdown, we supported an international offshore client to ensure that their 26 employees based in the Philippines were fit to work and COVID-free before embarking on a vessel.
Our Manila Assistance Centre coordinated the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing and medical support with a dedicated medic to ensure 24-hour care and attention to the crew. Counselling and medical direction was provided when 7 crew members tested positive. They were fully supported until local health authorities were able to advise next steps.
Clients in the high tech and financial industries have been helped to implement sustainable, medically led support systems for their entire workforce. This involved providing managers with regular situation updates, employee webinars on health topics and proactive outreach to employees of concern, especially those in quarantine or unwell at home.
“Pandemic fatigue” caused by various concerns affecting our personal and professional lives can be overcome with the right support structure in place. It is more important than ever before to acknowledge that successful business continuity is enabled by a healthy and resilient workforce.
Organisations are increasingly seeing the value of implementing a holistic workforce resilience programme that provides access to 24/7 health, safety and psychological support. This contributes to the stability and resilience of employees in these dynamic times, enabling them to remain productive and creative.
Simple steps to address “pandemic fatigue”:
1. Accepting negative emotions
Being honest about pent-up emotions like anxiety and uncertainty opens one up to find ways to address these reactions effectively.
2. Creating new goals
Setting achievable and enjoyable personal goals such as exercise or learning a new skill can give a positive sense of accomplishment.
3. Conserving emotional resources
Employees should take time out from work to prioritise self-care. Small breaks even if just to relax at home or spend time with loved ones is beneficial. Managers need to lead by example and encourage a delineation of on and off duty schedules.
4. Being kind to themselves
Employees should recognise that it is okay to have both good and bad days. Instead of focusing on the negatives, acknowledge and celebrate achievements.
5. Asking for help
Almost everyone has experienced some level of stress during this period. Seek support from mental health professionals via the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or clinic and recognize the benefits of reaching out early before burn out.
Dr Carrianne Ewe
Medical Director, International SOS Philippines
Dr Carrianne Ewe is the Medical Director of International SOS Philippines where she oversees Medical Services and Health Consulting projects. She works closely with the Manila Assistance Centre to address the medical concerns of clients and their employees as they navigate the complex COVID-19 environment.
About the International SOS Group of Companies
The International SOS Group of Companies is in the business of saving lives, protecting your global workforce from health and security threats. Wherever you are, we deliver customised health, security risk management and wellbeing solutions to fuel your growth and productivity. In the event of extreme weather, an epidemic or a security incident, we provide an immediate response providing peace of mind. Our innovative technology and medical and security expertise focus on prevention, offering real-time, actionable insights and on-the-ground quality delivery. We help you meet compliance reporting needs for good governance. By partnering with us, organisations can fulfil their Duty of Care responsibilities, while empowering business resilience, continuity and sustainability.
Founded in 1985, the International SOS Group is trusted by 12,000 organisations, including the majority of the Fortune Global 500, multi-national corporate clients and mid-size enterprises, governments, educational institutions and NGOs. 10,000 multi-cultural medical, security and logistics experts stand with you to provide support & assistance from over 1,000 locations in 85 countries, 24/7, 365 days.
To protect your workforce, we are at your fingertips: www.internationalsos.com
Philippine Resources - December 14, 2020
Gold BCR (GBCR): Blockchain Technologies with Junior Mining Companies
Gold BCR (GBCR): Building an empire of enduring wealth based on innovative blockchain technologies with junior mining companies. In this new era, modern science and innovation technologies are changing rapidly every day. Innovative new disruptive technologies ideas in mining are now meeting together with blockchain. These new disruptive technologies such as blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence, new online retail, big data, social media, sharing economy, financial technology, convenience applications have all begun to come in succession, bringing a trend of dynastic change. Driven by innovation these new economic development models have shaped the way we are living life today which has been dominated by the internet industry. Every time a disruptive technology emerges, there will be markets that will shake as the change occurs and new economic models will supersede old economic models. As the saying goes "the fittest shall survive". No matter big, small and medium-sized enterprises, they must stay innovative and face the harsh test of economic changes and adapt, and only then "survive and thrive."The great inventor, Thomas Edison once said: “science needs imagination, and innovation is the key to invention.” Planes and high-speed trains have realized the exaggerated imagination of our ancestors that “a thousand miles will be travelled to and fro in one day". The invention of video communication that seems like travel through time and space, so that people can be” as close as neighbours” even if they are thousands of miles apart. In this modern era, if we can combine centuries-old traditional industries with science and technology, and add innovative ideas, everything may become a reality.Gold BCR - (GBCR) is the world's first blockchain mining project to be backed by real gold from mining companies in Australia and is looking for other miners who may be interested in collaborating in PNG and the Philippines. For More Information, go online to www.goldbcr.io
Philippine Resources - February 28, 2019
Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC) turns over Soft-shell Crab Project
Nickel Asia Corporation - Hinatuan Mining Corporation (NAC-HMC), represented by ComRel Manager Antonio B. Resuera Jr., has turned over soft-shell crab project to three (3) indigent families of its host community last November 27, 2018. The project location is at Looc, Sitio Bagong Silang, Barangay Talavera, Tagana-an, Surigao del Norte. Beneficiaries of the said project are Rosita G. Sandico, Cristine C. Baguinaon and Arnulfo C. Copag Sr. They were selected as beneficiaries of the project based on the Local Socio-Economic Profile conducted earlier as part of the commitment of NAC-HMC to contribute to a brighter future for its people and its communities. The beneficiaries are also not part of any People’s Organization (POs) in the host community. Rosita G. Sandico and Cristine C. Baguinaon reside in Looc, Sitio Bagong Silang while Arnulfo C. Copag Sr. lives at Brgy. Talavera.“Nagpasalamat kami sa amoa nadawat na proyekto gikan sa livelihood program sa NAC-HMC. Daku namo na kalipay ug kinasing-kasing namo nga pagadawaton kining proyekto nga soft-shell crab project”, (we are thankful for receiving this project from the livelihood program of NAC-HMC. We are very happy and are wholeheartedly accepting the soft-shell crab project awarded to us) said Rosita G. Sandico.She further added that, “daku kini na katabang alang kanamo, ilabi na sa among panginabuhian, ilabi na sa akoa na senior citizen na man. Nalipay kaau ko kay isa ako sa nakadawat ani na proyekto. Amo gajud kani ampingan ug palambuan aron aduna kami mapanginuhaan alang sa among panginabuhi. Sa maka usab, daghan salamat sa inyo tabang kanamo NAC-HMC” (This is a big help to us, especially on our livelihood, especially to me who is already a senior citizen. I am very happy to be selected as one of the project recipients. In return, we will try our best to take care and develop the project in order for it to be sustainable and become a steady source of income for our livelihood. Once again, I am very thankful for the help you have given us NAC-HMC).Representative of Host and Neighboring Communities (RHNC) Chairwoman and Brgy. Talavera Councilor Eulita C. Borja who was also present during the turn-over ceremony reminded the project recipients to not take for granted the project provided by NAC-HMC, saying that, “to the project recipients, please take care of the project provided by NAC-HMC as it will be helpful to your livelihood.”She was also thankful to NAC-HMC for the support it provided the residents of the host community particularly in livelihood, “Thank you for the help and for the care you have shown to the residents by helping them with livelihood projects such as this, thank you NAC-HMC for the support.”Additional supplies for the care and maintenance of the soft-shell crab project were also provided by NAC-HMC to project beneficiaries to help ensure the success and sustainability of the project. As part of the commitment of NAC-HMC to assist its host community, technical experts from the City Agriculturists Office (CAGRO) of Tagum City were also tapped for the project’s implementation. They were also the ones who helped in establishing the soft-shell and crab fattening pilot projects in the mine site of NAC-HMC.
Philippine Resources - September 06, 2019
GHD opens new office in the Philippines
Gracing the opening of GHD’s third office in the Philippines are Darren Shrives, General Manager – Philippines, Steven Robinson, AO, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, and Ian Fraser, General Manager – Asia Pacific.“As we head towards 75 years of formal diplomatic ties, we continue to strengthen the deep and broad connections between Australia and the Philippines,” Steven said. The new office is located in Quezon City, a rapidly growing business hub located north of the Philippine capital, Metro Manila.Darren shares, “Quezon City is home to many of our key clients in the Philippines, so our proximity to them helps us collaborate better. Aside from this, our new office forges our commitment to provide a better and more accessible workplace to our staff.”GHD’s local teams worked on the biophilic design of the new office. It is has approximately 120 working stations, four meeting rooms, and several collaboration areas. Aside from encouraging staff to interact freely within the area, the overall design of the new office has an "outdoor" feel, as evident in the textures/elements of its interiors.
Place your Ad Here!
Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021
Philippines Unlikely to Fulfill China's Nickel Ore Requirements
Despite the resumption of many mining operations in the region, the Philippines is unlikely to fulfill China's nickel ore requirements, according to an S&P report. Philippine mined nickel production is expected to increase over the next five years, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence industry survey, as producers aim to satisfy Chinese nickel ore demand. However, S&P analysts said, “We believe that legislation will remain a major hurdle for restarts and new projects, therefore the Philippines will be unable to meet Chinese nickel ore demand over our forecast period.” Three nickel mines in the world that had been closed due to the coronavirus disease in 2019 were reopened in 2020 when the government turned to the mining industry to help offset the economic effects of the disease (Covid-19). These restarts and demand from current mining facilities, according to foreign analysts, are expected to raise Philippine mined nickel output from 340,000 tonnes in 2020 to 550,000 tonnes in 2025. “However, we believe that existing environmental restrictions on Philippine mining will limit the scope for further mine restarts or additional production from new mining projects in the medium term,” S&P analysts said. “This will prevent the Philippines from meeting China’s nickel ore requirements in Indonesia’s absence, driving Chinese primary output down from an estimated 715,000 tonnes in 2020 to 490,000 tonnes in 2025.” The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) previously reported that the country's nickel export value increased by P1 billion from January to September 2020, compared to P24 billion in the same timeframe last year. According to a survey from the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), the Philippine nickel industry produced 18.5 million dry metric tons (DMT) in 2020, down 14% from the previous year's 21.6 million DMT production. MGB stated that the lower output was primarily due to the increased community quarantine imposed by Covid-19 from March to May 2020, during which mineral product movement was restricted across the world. The increased performance in export value for the nickel industry, according to PNIA President Dante Bravo, was primarily motivated by demand increases in nickel prices. China's consistent demand boosted the world nickel price in 2020.
Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021
Forecasts for PH Development in 2021 Have Been Reduced
Fitch Solutions, a London-based think tank, has slashed its economic growth forecast for the Philippines this year, citing the return to tough lockdown measures in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, which is expected to dampen domestic investment in the short term. Fitch Solutions now expects the Philippines' actual gross domestic product (GDP) to rise by 5.8% this year, down from the initial estimate of 7.6%, due to the government's capital spending push being derailed. “The surge in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines in March and lockdown measures imposed reflect the continued risks to the archipelago’s economic outlook,” the think tank said in a research note dated April 1. The government has reimposed curfew policies in Metro Manila and neighbouring provinces, affecting an unprecedented 24 million inhabitants, as it struggles to control the pandemic. Given the continuing increase in cases and the long-term effect on hospital capacity, Fitch Solutions expects the lockout steps to be extended beyond two weeks. “The likelihood of further outbreaks in other regions remains high and given the slow vaccination rollout in the country (less than 1 per cent of the population has been vaccinated as of end-March) we believe the Philippines’ recovery will continue to be hampered by the pandemic,” Fitch Solutions said. Regional outlook The think tank went on to say that its new estimate of 5.8% also had downside risks. It stated that its forecast for a moderate recovery this year was based on the assumption that domestic demand would steadily improve and the government's investment plans would be realized, resulting in a sharp increase in domestic activity. “However, the slow vaccine rollout and recurrent difficulties in containing outbreaks look set to stall the recovery further,” it noted. A survey of economists in the Asean-5 and India found that the Philippines' growth projection was 5.2 per cent, down from 5.9 per cent in the previous poll last December. Although Asian countries that carried out mass vaccination earlier, such as India, Indonesia, and Singapore, saw their near-term economic prospects boost, gradual inoculation tempered economists' growth aspirations for the Philippines, according to a poll released on Monday by the think tank Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER). Economists following the Philippines predicted that GDP will contract by 3.8 per cent year on year in the first quarter, up from 0.7 per cent a year before. GDP will rise 8.4% year over year in the second quarter, 5.6 per cent in the third quarter, and 4.5 per cent in the fourth quarter due to base effects from last year's low. Malaysia and Thailand, including the Philippines, have weaker growth forecasts for 2021. “Most economists see the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination as one of the most significant positive developments over the last three months and all three upward-trending countries have rolled out vaccinations relatively sooner. This may have improved economists’ outlooks. Delays in vaccination and the spread of COVID-19 variants are listed as factors that might damage the economies,” JCER said. Top concerns Faster dissemination of COVID-19 variants and delayed vaccination, or "corona shock," were described as top economic issues in the Philippines, but higher inflation was also identified as a major threat to the country's recovery from the pandemic-induced recession. According to analysts, headline inflation will average 4.5 per cent in the first quarter, 4.8 per cent in the second, 4.7 per cent in the third, and 4.2 per cent in the fourth quarter, averaging 4.5 per cent in 2021, way above the target range of 2-4 per cent. With a 6.1 per cent increase, Singapore is forecast to lead economic growth in the Asean-5 this year, led by Malaysia's 5.3 per cent and Philippines' 5.2 per cent. According to the JCER report, India will rise at a higher rate of 11.2 per cent in 2021. Economists predicted that the Philippines' average GDP growth will be 6% in 2022, up from 5.8% in December but still below the government's goal.
Philippine Resources - April 06, 2021
Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Expected to Open in June 2021
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is concentrating not only on the civil work’s development of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge Project but also on keeping the workplace secure and clean. DPWH Secretary Mark A. Villar said, "that at 86 per cent and with just a few more days to fully complete the new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, we are mindful that a single case of COVID-19 in the project can lead to an interruption, if not total work stoppage" Secretary Villar recently issued revised guidelines in Department Order #30 for the implementation of ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, and MGCQ infrastructure projects, both public and private, during the public health crisis. "Although the bridge project is being rushed for completion in June 2021, it is critical that construction firms be proactive rather than reactive in dealing with the increased risk of illness from COVID-19," Secretary Villar added. Emil K. Sadain, Undersecretary for Unified Project Management Office (UPMO) Operations, and UPMO Roads Management Cluster 1 Project Manager Benjamin Bautista checked the physical progress of the bridge project on Monday, April 5, 2021, and the contractor's compliance with protocols that cover prevention, detection, and rapid response to maintain construction work continuity as workers who have been living in the barracks resume work after the Lenten season. “Let’s get to work healthy to get the job done”, Undersecretary Sadain reminded the contractor China Road and Bridge Corporation citing the current health situation, particularly in the NCR Plus bubble. In his report to Secretary Villar, Undersecretary Sadain reported that the project is more than 12% ahead of time, having completed all bridge substructure works for abutments A and B on both sides and piers of the Makati approach bridge; the V-shaped piers for the Main Bridge; concrete box girder for the approach bridge; and the V-shaped piers for the Main Bridg; and two (2) prestressed concrete box girder segments using the traditional approach. Post-tensioning and grouting works, formworks and rebar installation for the closure section in the side spans, formworks installation for the 2-meter closure section in the main bridge span, and preparatory works for approach road construction on both sides are now the focus of bridge construction activities. The new 506-linear meter bridge, funded by China and introduced by the DPWH UPMO - Roads Management Cluster 1 (Bilateral), would have a diameter of 21.65 meters, capable of four (4) lanes instead of two (2), and three-meter sidewalks on both sides. The P1.46 billion new Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge, which is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of 2021, will handle 50,000 vehicles a day and minimize travel time between Mandaluyong and Makati to 12 minutes. The bridge will connect Estrella Street in Makati to Barangka Drive in Mandaluyong, helping to relieve traffic congestion on EDSA by providing an alternative route for motorists.