Respect in a Time of COVID-19

Respect is very important in the time of COVID-19.

During the time of COVID-19, I am reminded of the word RESPECT.


There’s three ways we should respect — Respect for SELF, Respect for your WORK, and Respect for OTHERS. You gotta have all three to have a fruitful and peaceful life.

How does Respect works?

Respect for Self

A staff member asked me what she would put in her Social Amelioration Program (SAP)Form. She was listed as the head of the household and was asked to fill up the form. If she got approved, her household would get Php 8,000 twice from the government in two tranches, one for each month for two months.


Based on the news, I know that if you have a job and a decent job, you will be disqualified for the SAP program. The government only wants to help the poorest of the poor, and if you do not qualify as poor poor, then the help would be extended to somebody else.

sap program

The best candidates of the SAP program are those who really do not have any money, no job, and no sustenance. Basically, families where there’s really no money coming in. My staff who has been in her position for a year, and is earning more than minimum wage is not a candidate for the SAP Program.

She asked me if she should lie about her position and her salary in the SAP Form. “If I put that I am minimum wage, I will have a bigger chance of getting the Php8,000,” she said. You can see that she’s troubled by it which is why she’s asking for advice.

Personally, I would not take it against her if she lied. The form is hers, and I will not judge her if she did not say the truth.

However, I advised her to always be true to herself. Even if people did not see or hear, you will always know what you did, and it’s better to be honest in all your dealings, because only then, will we live a life of real freedom.

“Pag ako, I will be honest,” I told her. “Masarap maging honest. Pag mayroon, great! Pag wala, good din. Kasi may biyaya pang ibibigay sa akin ang Diyos.”

sap program aid

(If it was me, I would be honest. It’s a good feeling to be honest all the time. If they give you the aid, great. If not, it’s still good. God will still give you many blessings if He didn’t give you this one.)

God has a funny way of disciplining our family.

I sh*t you not — If I found Php 1,000 on the street, I have to return it. Because if I don’t return it, God allows us to lose Php 10,000 even more than the money that was found.


I don’t know how to corrupt officials can do it.

They steal millions from the people and never get caught. This is a joke that’s going around on the Internet. It was funny as hell.

Juan Ponce Enrile Joke

In good humor, those who are alleged to be corrupt do not die. It is usually the good people that die, but the bad people are like cockroaches that never die.

I’m just a normal person. I think it’s important to live an honest life. When you live an honest life, be a good person, and treat people well, I think people will likewise pay it back. If the person you helped didn’t pay you back, a lot of other people will.

feeling loved

If you’re a jerk, people will hate you and plot to kill you. But if you’re nice and helpful, people will appreciate it even if you don’t get a payback. Even if you get nice things, people will celebrate your successes and won’t be jealous of you. What goes around, really comes around.

So always have respect for yourself — Always be a better part of you even when people aren’t looking. As they say, if you exude respect, you too will also get respect.

Respect 3

Respect for your Work

There is no greater evidence that we should pay respect to our work than what happened during COVID-19.

respect for work

I had around eight people resign in February after the peak Christmas season. Our company gives high commissions so as soon as the peak season was over, a lot of people cashed out and resigned.

I tried to stop them and persuade them to stay. They already knew the job, our systems and we know they can perform. However, many were adamant to move. Their reasons ranged from taking care of their kids, to working abroad, to finding a new job elsewhere. Despite our calls to get them to stay, they wanted to switch. So we had to clamor in hiring 8 new people to come in.

When the Expanded Community Quarantine (ECQ) happened, the President declared everything to be closed, leaving everyone into Forced Leave at No work, No Pay. People with no savings were stuck at home without a single cent.

As a company manager, we discussed the issue with the Shareholder and decided that we couldn’t let our people starve. Even before the ECQ started, our target is that people have a way to get money during every payroll, be it as a financial aid, pro-rata 13th month pay or salary loan. This plan I chronicled in my post, HR Hacks: How to Support Staff During the Lockdown.


At that time, we did not know that the government would come in and help.  We didn’t know about DOLE CAMP, SAP or Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS). All we knew was that we had to step in and help. The Business is closed and we will consolidate our resources, but our staff needs help so the company should step in.

Employees first, not Business first.

The funny thing was, it only took the ECQ to prove to our employees that they should be more respectful for their work. They should not treat good work callously and move from place to place. Instead, they should stay in a company and be grateful that they have work. Because you’d never know when you’ll lose it.

A lot of different companies had been laying off people left and right in preparation for a post ECQ landscape. A lot of people are left with zero money or support during the ECQ. Their employers didn’t even get a single cent.

For us, since we are closed, we did not fire anyone. If we do, it will be because of their own lack of performance instead of business losses. That would have to wait post ECQ. Instead, our priority is to support our staff and make sure they have food to eat. In lieu of this, those who have been with us got CAMP, financial assistance, and hopefully SBWS. Say what you must but they are better off than many other people during this crisis season.

Furthermore, those who have been with us for awhile got the full benefits of financial assistance, CAMP and SBWS. The criteria for CAMP is that you have to be employed before February 2020 or earlier. In SBWS, a major criteria is you should be employed in your company from January 2020 or earlier. In some companies, you need to have started December 1, 2019 to be eligible for CAMP.

No matter how you spin it, those who have stayed long in a company are most qualified for the most benefits. If you are no longer part of the company, you don’t get the benefits at all. So malas lang talaga yung mga nag-resign — They don’t have a job, they don’t have savings, they don’t have any financial aid, they don’t have SAP, and they most likely will not have SBWS.


Call it unlucky but in a way, I did ask them not to quit their jobs in February. If they stuck around, they would have been taken care of during the ECQ. Sayang lang talaga. 

Respect for Others

During ECQ, there’s no greater concern about Respect for Others. The ECQ is not really for the sake of the individual, but for the good of the community. In other words, keeping R or Rate of Infection lower than 1, so that 20 infected people won’t be 51,000 infected.

We have to do our part in conquering this disease. Now is NOT the time to be selfish.

A former staff of mine was caught breaking quarantine, and actually went to her parent’s house in a company car to pick up the mother. Together, they then went to a relative’s party where they ate, drank and were merry.

dorm house

This would not have been a problem if it was just her. The problem was that she lived in the company staff house, and her actions placed her colleagues’ lives at risk.

The ECQ is not a respect for themselves. It is an issue of public health.

Here’s the clip of Andrew Cuomo, Mayor of New York City, as he talks to a pro-Trump reporter who says that staying at home equals death:

“The Illness is death. The illness may be MY death as opposed to your death. How can the cure be worse than the Illness if the illness is death?

Economic hardship is very bad. Not death.

Emotional stress from being locked in the house, bad. Not death.

Domestic violence on the increase, NOT Death.

And it’s not the death of someone else.  This is not about you. It’s not about me. It’s around WE. Get your head around the WE concept.


Nothing comes before the Public Health risk of somebody else’s life. And that’s where we are.

You want to go to work, go take a job as an essential worker. Do it tomorrow. Go take a job as an essential worker. You can get a job as an essential worker.

We stay at home because we want to slow down the rate of infection. We practice social distancing because we do not want to infect others.

APTOPIX Virus Outbreak Philippines

We wear a face mask not only to protect ourselves but also to protect others.


That’s why we need to respect the tenets of the ECQ. Many people are complaining that they are stuck at home and many has called it as “house arrest.” 

But we need to see that this virus as a fight we need to conquer together. Cuomo was correct. This is not about you. This is not about me. This is about WE.

In Summary

No matter how much money we have or do not have, at the end of the day, all we have is our own sense of RESPECT. We need to respect ourselves, respect our work and respect for others. Only if we can do all three can we live peaceful, fruitful lives.


How about you? What was your deep profound insight during the ECQ? Do you have anything to add aside from these three? Comments always appreciated!

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