AMB. MANUEL M. LOPEZIt seems that our country has joined the rest of the world in recovering ground lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy is cautiously restarting, as evidenced by increased electricity demand and, of course, the return of traffic jams in Metro Manila.
This is a welcome development for everyone, especially for our countrymen whose sources of livelihood were adversely affected by the stringent lockdowns. But we must remember that to get to this point, we have had to do a lot of things, including getting vaccinated.
I thank the FPH/First Gen Group and the ABS-CBN Group for adopting an enterprise-wide vaccination program to ensure that all our Lopez Group kapamilya and their dependents, as well as partners, contractors and suppliers of services, are protected against this particular coronavirus that has claimed the lives of millions around the world.
There remains much to be done. We have to continue observing health and safety protocols as the risk of transmission rises with more people going out of their homes. Malls, cinemas and restaurants that are open are all enforcing universal masking and physical distancing to prevent a spike in cases. Let us stay vigilant and be aware of the ways by which we can effectively stop ourselves and our families from getting infected or from infecting others.
Christmas is a time of cheer and we are all aching to reunite with our loved ones who have stayed on Zoom or Skype out of love for us. The important thing is to stay fit and healthy so that we can overcome any physical and medical challenges that may come our way.
We should also pray for one another and for our fellow Filipinos, especially those who have had to face enormous difficulties in the last year. Do you know that there are so many young people who have not been able to study because of lack of access to the internet or to a working computer or gadget needed for online lessons?
Let us continue to reach out to them through programs run by reputable foundations like PAAFI (Phil-Asia Assistance Foundation Inc.), which happens to be chaired by my better half, Mrs. Maritess Lopez. There are also ABS-CBN Foundation, Knowledge Channel and LGFI (Lopez Group Foundation Inc.), among others, which are trying to sustain programs for our youth.
Reaching out will bring cheer not only to these students, but also to our homes, as we teach our children and grandchildren the value of social justice concretely expressed in solidarity and fraternity with those in need.
In behalf of Maritess, our children and grandchildren, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Stay safe and in the PINK of health. MABUHAY, MGA KAPAMILYA! - AMB. MANUEL M. LOPEZ