Opinion article by the president of Boluda Corporación Marítima, Vicente Boluda, published in the Levante newspaper (Valencia)

The world health crisis caused by Covid-19 must bring about sober reflection in Spain, one of the countries most affected by a lack of foresight in government mechanisms to adopt health measures during February and March.

I believe that self-criticism, although necessary, must be postponed until the solution to this pandemic is on track. A self-critical attitude is needed that will lead us to avoid repeating mistakes already made. For the time being, our society of employees, self-employed and businesses urgently need healthcare, economic and social measures to pull us out of this critical and exceptional situation which is generating present and future insecurity.

The diverse activities provided by Boluda Corporación Marítima, such as freight transport, international logistics, vessel towage, and bunkers transport and supply, are intrinsic within this strategic sector and make an essential contribution towards ensuring that there are no shortages in supply of goods for citizens.

Although the Government’s measures have not caused our services to close down, we have had to adapt to continue as a strong and solid multinational, capable of maintaining services at the highest level.

In line with this, days before the state of alert was declared, practically all our office employees in the five continents where we provide services had begun working from home. Likewise, all tug, ship and tanker crews are following the strictest health security measures recommended by the Ministry of Health to avoid new infections. Our current priority is the company’s personnel and thanks to their efforts we are trying to mitigate the impact of this crisis playing out in such an adverse environment.

From crises come lessons about what we must do in the present and future to avoid negatively affecting the health and financial security of our society, including salaried employees, the self-employed, small and medium-sized enterprises and Spain’s strong business sector.

I want to transmit positivity to counteract the negative thoughts shared by us all, because Spain has proven to be a very supportive, strong and creative country. And you need look no further than the daily media and social networks to see this reality in our society, which on this occasion has reacted ahead of our leaders.

Together we will overcome this tsunami by all rowing in the same direction, coming together, each one in their own role, because we all need each other in these crucial moments.

Above all, I would like to acknowledge the effort made by the crews of each Boluda Corporación Marítima division to ensure that the goods and medical devices reach people’s homes, using these words to express my sincerest appreciation, as I’m aware of the personal sacrifice they are making during these difficult times. We are a strategic service, just like the services provided by health care workers, security forces and cleaning services.

In my view, the arrival of the coronavirus in our society will cause changes in our way of working, living, thinking, and travelling … This pandemic must prompt us all to rethink what we must do from now on to prevent such an exceptional, serious and volatile situation from arising again.

From a health care perspective, the Covid-19 crisis has made it clear that the health system must be strengthened and there should be no more cuts in financial and human resources. It is the moment to make a great health care pact. Shortages of essential and personal protection equipment such as face masks, ventilators, gloves and gowns should never be allowed to occur again.

Turning to the economic sphere, the state must redirect budgetary spending to prevent the business sector from bearing the brunt of these circumstances. Without the support of this productive sector, the Valencian Community and Spain will find it very difficult to find a way out of the impending crisis.

We all have a moral obligation in this war against Covid-19, each one from his or her job, due to the vital importance of maritime services provision for the whole of society, now more than ever.

From Boluda Corporación Marítima, I want to be positive and I am sure that between us all, we will emerge stronger out of this grave situation, because we are all going to pull together to make that recovery.

The president of Boluda Corporación Marítima, Vicente Boluda.