It’s okay to not be okay

It’s perfectly all right to be disturbed and perturbed. This is, and will be the new normal for the foreseeable future. Just like you, I’m looking forward to the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). But let’s face it, April 14 might be too soon for its lifting as new cases continue to be on the uptrend. Whether that’s an offshoot of more testing should be beside the point.

Anyway, amid the dire news sweeping the world, I would actually be surprised if you were taking this in stride. A few months ago, I couldn’t even remember the “formal” name of the novel coronavirus. Now, even kids know enough to associate COVID-19 with everything that is bad. It is the harbinger of death – an unseen, invisible enemy who knows neither color nor creed, age nor gender, politics nor affiliations, economic status nor popularity. Celebrities, politicians, world leaders, actors, nurses, doctors, police can all be easy prey. This is the mother of disruptions.

It’s okay to not be okay, because now’s not the time to let your guard down. This is not the time for flippancy, though it’s okay to allow ourselves moments of lightheartedness in the name of sanity. Life goes on, just not in the form we’ve been accustomed to. Our resilience has saved us before; it’s keeping us sane now. The memes, the singing, the trends – they all help to keep us going. And let’s keep praying for better days, and for the safety of nameless strangers who are all out there caring for people who can’t even have family by their side.

* * *

We reached out to several auto companies to ask them how they’re doing and coping amid the lockdown in Luzon. Here’s the reply of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation, through its marketing communications senior manager Mark Parulan.

Designated Driver: What are MMPC’s policies both for employees and dealerships during the lockdown? How many and what percentage of employees are afforded work-from-home arrangements?

Mark Parulan: Currently, a skeleton team per department is operating to fulfil the following tasks: emergency response and crisis management, plant protection and maintenance, (legal department) coordination and compliance with local government mandatories, business continuity and restoration, IT maintenance and support to assure WFH connectivity, and finance and payroll.

Are there global guidelines on how Mitsubishi is responding to the pandemic in view of its business?

We are constantly in touch with our headquarters. The safety of our employees is the number- one priority and we are committed to comply with the directions that our government will set. MMPC is will do its best to contribute to flatten the curve with regard to the spread of the coronavirus.

What contingencies are in place for its factory workers in Sta. Rosa? Is the factory completely shut down?

Yes, our manufacturing plant is currently shut down. Again, the safety of our employees is our number one priority. This is also in compliance with the government’s direction to cease all operations if the company does not belong to the essential industries that they enumerated.

Are dealerships outside of Luzon affected? If yes, how?

There are various logistical challenges related to transporting the vehicles to our dealerships outside Luzon. We understand that there will be day-to-day developments with regard to controlling the virus spread; new rules and guidelines will be imposed with regard to delivery and shipment of cars. As a responsible company, we are committed to comply and we adjust our operations accordingly. 

How will the ECQ affect MMPC’s participation in the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program vis-à-vis sales and production targets?

The virus outbreak has definitely affected our sales targets and our commitment to the CARS program. Once we have overcome the COVID-19 challenge, we shall align with the government to secure directions on how we can contribute to the recovery of the automotive industry.

For customers who recently purchased a car and whose payments will be affected, what is MMPC’s message? How about those whose PMS schedules and warranty will be affected?

With the support of our bank partners, payment extensions have been offered to our clients to lessen their worry during these trying times. These extensions though may vary from bank to bank.

Please feel free to share other MMPC efforts amid the pandemic.

MMPC has turned over two L300 units to the Department of Transportation. Two more units will be allocated for the city of Sta. Rosa, Laguna. These will primarily be for the shuttling of front-liners.

Kap Maceda Aguila

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