MANILA, Philippines – A group of business owners on Tuesday expressed hope that the COVID-19 alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be lowered in the last three months of the year in order for them to recoup their losses amid the pandemic.
Resto PH president Eric Teng said shifting to a more relaxed alert level will help business owners as this will allow them more dine-in capacity.
“We’re just asking to move the country slowly, responsibly to the next stage which is alert level 3. At alert level 3, for example, in our industry, our dining capacity will just go from 10 percent to 30 percent. That’s not significantly a big jump. But for us, it allows us to hire more people because wala namang ayudang nakakarating sa mga empleyado namin at sa pamilya nila eh,” Teng said.
Metro Manila is currently under alert level 4 in line with the alert levels system being piloted in the capital region.
Under level 4, restaurants are allowed to have dine-in customers at 10 percent capacity while level 3 allows up to 30 percent dine-in capacity.
Teng said that not all restaurants were able to operate under level 4, as some do not have outdoor dining space.
But they hope for a better alert level starting next month to help business owners makeup for some of their losses this year.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion also voiced the same opinion, saying lowering Metro Manila’s alert level in the fourth quarter will be beneficial for business.
With a vaccination rate projected to hit 80 percent by October, Concepcion said a loosening of quarantine restrictions is warranted.
“Tataas dito yung consumer spending dahil sa Christmas, at palagay ko, election spending. So, importante na ang quarter na ito sana ay ipalagay na ang quarantine ibaba sa level 3,” he said at a Palace briefing.
Concepcion also pushed for an improvement in the provisions for fully vaccinated individuals under alert levels 2 & 3.
“Kasi importante dito yung capacity, dapat itaas para mas maganda ang benta nila at tatlong buwan lang sa itong quarter. Importante dito na mabawi nila yung mga lugi nila para mabayaran yung 13th month pay sa mga empleyado pagpasok dito ng Christmas,” he said.
Meanwhile, Malacañang said Concepcion’s proposals will be tackled in the next meeting of the government’s task force on COVID-19 response.