Further reopening of businesses, economy pressed


Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria A. Concepcion said the economy should reopen now so businesses can take advantage of the Christmas spending after imposing a hard lockdown in August.

At a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, Concepcion said that the enhanced community quarantine in August has helped in bringing down the number of Covid-19 cases. As such, easing of mobility restrictions is the way to go now to allow enterprises to recoup their losses, he said.

“For now, it’s only one quarter left till the end of the year. Bigay na natin to sa mga negosyante para mabuhay sila till next year [Let us give this to the business owners so they can survive till next year],” he stressed.

Concepcion said that easing the alert level in Metro Manila, which has achieved an 80- percent vaccination rate, can increase the operating capacities of the establishments.

Currently at Alert Level 4, the Go Negosyo founder said the 30 percent indoor capacity, including the additional 10 percent for those with Safety Seal, is not enough for businesses to make ends meet.

“They have to open the economy and now is the time,” he said, noting the operational capacity should be increased up to 70 percent before the year ends.

Sa 30 percent, halos wala kang kita dyan. Sa 50 percent, you can earn some money pero di pa malaki ’yan. Pero at least, they will have enough to pay their obligations and hopefully carry them forward till 2022 [At 30 percent, you will barely earn. At 50 percent, you can earn some money but not, just enough to pay for your obligations and hopefully carry them forward till 2022],” he added.

Among the obligations businesses will be paying in the last quarter include the 13th- month pay, bank loans and outstanding bills with suppliers, he said.

Recently, Concepcion welcomed the shortening of the quarantine period for international arriving passengers from 14 days to 5-7 days.

“I am thankful that the government listened to our repeated calls to relax the guidelines for the fully vaccinated. With the shorter quarantine, many will be encouraged to fly, engage in economic activities and most importantly reunite with families with lesser costs in mind,” Concepcion said.

“We are also elated to know that some local areas are now allowing fully vaccinated travelers. This can persuade more people to go out of their homes to travel and give a boost to the local economy,” he added.

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