Contrary to the suggestion of other stakeholders in the business sector, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed its concern on relaxing protocols for vaccinated people.
In a statement Monday, PCCI opposed the proposed policy to allow vaccinated individuals in sectors that are currently restricted for everyone, as this would not really revive economic activities.
“Many of the vaccinated people are senior citizens and those with comorbidities, while the unvaccinated youth, the bulk of consumers, may not even be allowed to go out,” PCCI acting president Edgardo Lacson said.
The business group also warned against complacency among vaccinated people, as they can still be virus carriers even if they are asymptomatic.
“The policy of discrimination is a half measure that could complicate the early opening of the entire economy, since the elusive herd immunity according to medical experts is impossible to achieve even if the entire population is fully vaccinated,” Lacson added.
Over the weekend, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the guidelines on giving more mobility to vaccinated individuals are currently being finalized.
Meanwhile, the PCCI also reiterated its opposition to hard lockdowns.
“Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is a pharmaceutical problem and cannot be solved by a militaristic solution like a lockdown,” the group said.
The country’s largest business group also recommended to further accelerate deployment of vaccines and make Covid-19 screening free to encourage people to be inoculated and tested.
“After having taken draconian lockdowns and a variety of quarantine protocols to no effect, the government is now open to other measures to address the spread of the virus. Mass inoculation should not be the single criteria due to limited supply of vaccines that has delayed population protection,” Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. chair and former PCCI president George Barcelon added.*PNA