Norman Joseph Jiao
As I am writing this, Luzon is under an extended Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) until the end of April 2020 and the whole country, in fact, the world, is reeling from the effects of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
We started 2020 with high hopes.
Building on an external evaluation we commissioned late last year which showed that FSSI’s partner SEs were satisfied with the services of the foundation, as well as an assessment of the internal conditions of FSSI and the external environment in which we operate, we crafted our Strategic Plan for 2020 to 2024. This Plan includes the refined Vision, Mission, and Core Values of FSSI. We have also set our strategic goals for our four key result areas of Financial Services Delivery, Social Enterprise Development, Asset and Investment Management, and Organizational Development.
This year we are also celebrating FSSI’s silver anniversary. We have crafted plans to mark the event, including holding a series of forums, publishing a book, and launching an accelerator program focused on sustainable agriculture SEs.
And then COVID-19 came.
Some social media commentators have quipped that we should re-start the year 2020 because it has a virus. As that is not possible, we need to face the difficulties that lie ahead. In doing that, we draw strength from the courage and dedication of the ‘frontliners’, both those inside health facilities and those outside, attending to our essential services.
We also draw energy and inspiration from the many volunteer efforts – big and small, national and local – that have independently sprung up to provide the needed personal protective equipment (PPE), transportation service, shelter, food and other necessities needed in our people’s fight against COVID-19. Within our network, various efforts have been launched to help support our frontliners and the most vulnerable Filipinos affected by the crisis.
So, even with COVID-19 and the extended quarantine, we look forward to celebrating FSSI’s 25th year, launching our new 5-year plan, and jointly creating a virus-free future for 3BL enterprises and for all Filipinos.