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Biz sector hoping for Alert Level 1 before Christmas

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion*

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said businesses are hoping that the government will place Metro Manila under Alert Level 1 this November or December to help enterprises to recover from losses due to the pandemic. 

During the Laging Handa public briefing yesterday, Concepcion said the National Capital Region is ready for safe reopening of economic activities as vaccination rate reaches 80 percent of the target population.

As restrictions further ease, Concepcion said allowed operating capacity of establishments could go up to 70 percent.

“Because at 30 percent (capacity), you hardly have any income there. Now, at 50 percent, you can earn some money but not that much but at least they will be able to have enough to pay their obligations and hopefully carry them forward until 2022,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.

Concepcion also supports proposals to reopen cinemas for fully vaccinated individuals.

“We have been using cinemas for the vaccination of our employees. So, if we’re already using cinemas for vaccination for our employees — and it is mostly done in all cinemas — (then) these are safe. We will not use that cinema if it’s not safe,” he added.

He said the last quarter of the year is a crucial period for businesses when consumer spending increases.

Concepcion said that with the arrival of more COVID-19 vaccines in the country, these can cover the entire population. 

This will push for more reopening of economic activities in the coming months, he added.

Meanwhile, Concepcion said the business sector has already been aggressive in avoiding the surge of Delta variants like what happened to other Southeast Asian countries by supporting the lockdown in early August.

With the declining number of COVID-19 cases and increasing vaccination efforts, he said easing of restrictions in businesses establishments is fair.*PNA

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