With many Filipinos needing to return to work, the country now needs to balance the reopening of economy and containing the spread of the virus. Balancing this act requires every Filipino can be part of the solution by participating in the Department of Health’s BIDA Solusyon campaign.

A part of the nation’s larger strategy to prevent, trace, test, and treat, BIDA Solusyon is the Philippine government’s social and behavioral change campaign to encourage Filipinos to practice the four key preventive behaviors that will help keep themselves and their families safe against the pandemic. Each letter in BIDA represents one of these behaviors:  Bawal walang maskI-sanitize ang kamay at Iwas-hawak sa mga bagay, Dumistansya ng isang metro, at Alamin ang totoong impormasyon.

The campaign is a partnership between government, private, and development partners, with the USAID providing financial and technical assistance for the first phase of its rollout. Various national government agencies have also committed their resources to promote the campaign, and more partners will be onboard over the coming weeks.

“We welcome and greatly appreciate the support of organizations and individuals to help us raise awareness and educate people on the preventive behaviors that will help us win this fight against COVID19,” said Vergeire.

In a virtual media forum last July 10, 2020, Health OIC-Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire and the Department of Finance’s (DOF) Assistant Secretary Tony Lambino discussed these methods on achieving the right economic and health balance as the country moves forward.

“Staying safe against COVID-19 isn’t just about doing what’s needed when it’s easy or convenient, it’s about always making a conscious effort to protect your friends and loved ones,” said Vergeire. “Our everyday actions have a potential impact on the spread of the virus, and we have to remember that our responsible decisions, no matter how small, can save lives”.

When asked about whether the economy or the health response is a higher priority for the government, Lambino said, “It has become very clear that it’s not a binary choice, kailangan po natin gawin pareho, kailangan po natin tulungan ang ating mga kababayan na makabalik sa kanilang trabaho at paghahanapbuhay, to restart their lives while protecting the lives of others at the same time.”

Meanwhile, Vergeire noted that with 67% of the Philippines’ economic activity concentrated in the National Capital Region and CALABARZON, areas that have a large portion of the country’s COVID-19 cases, it is critical for the public to reinforce the personal protective measures espoused by the BIDA campaign.

“In the end, when we get to the grassroots, or if you get to where the rubber hits the road, nasa interaction ng mga tao, sa mga tindahan, sa mga restaurants, at kung saan pa,” said Lambino. “Kaya po, itong BIDA ay napaka-importante, it’s a foundation of the economic recovery.”

“For the economy to perform well and for us to regain our growth trajectory ay napakahalagang masunod ang BIDA campaign,” Lambino concluded.