By Francis Allan L. Angelo
Business is boring.
Well, for the ordinary folks who care for their daily subsistence and existence.
This is the usual challenge of community journalists when they attempt to write economic stories. Who cares about inflation, interest rates, gross domestic product (GDP), and other economic jargons?
Economic journalism is more effective from the lenses of public interest, such as describing the effects of the periodic increase in prices of goods and services, electricity rates, and interest rates or the cost of money and how they can cope.
The GDP and its more localized version of the gross regional domestic product provides insight on the economic profile of a region, thus, giving us a clear picture of where employment comes from and what products we can capitalize on to fuel growth.
I clearly remember tackling economic news when Daily Guardian discussed in length and in detail the economic travail of Iloilo City – its low competitiveness ranking compared to other cities, the power crisis it suffered in the early 2000 due to short and expensive supply, and its subpar infrastructure.
By providing insights on the root cause of our economic woes, policymakers and implementers were challenged and moved to look and provide solutions.
The tangible results were investments in the power and water industries and infrastructure development like the construction of new roads and a new airport. This led to a rush in investments from developers in Luzon who saw Visayas, particularly Iloilo, as a new growth area.
COVID-19 struck and turned nations and economies on their heads. The effect in local level was more palpable and severe with thousands losing their jobs and government shelling out billions of pesos in dole-outs.
But the pandemic also put in hyperdrive the digitalization of business and almost every aspect of our lives, which boosted e-commerce, service and food deliveries, online communication platforms, and even the transformation of mass communication from traditional forms to the online environment.
Daily Guardian capitalized on this trend by co-hosting Iloilo Business Online (IBO) with the Iloilo Business Club and other institutional partners.
IBO was conceptualized to find ways on how the national and local economies can rebound from the pandemic. The sessions tackled how industries could harness technology to spur new investments and employment. It also offered insights to budding sectors that are riding high on the Fourth Industrial Revolution which is fueled mainly by the internet.
The speakers of the IBO included national and local officials, key business executives, and innovators who influenced policymakers and actors of Iloilo.
Business will always be a complicated matter even to the smartest folks in the room. But Daily Guardian continues to find ways in minding our business for equitable development and progress.