PCCI pushes shift to AL 2 for NCR in next two weeks


The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) backed the proposal to ease the community quarantine measure in the National Capital Region (NCR) to Alert Level (AL) 2 within the next 14 days to allow businesses to take advantage of the consumer spending amid the Christmas season.

In addition, the business group asked to gradually increase the passenger capacity in public transportation to full capacity from 70 percent by November 4.

“The easing of restriction to Alert Level 2, which will allow most businesses to operate, and restaurants to increase the capacity of allowed diners is a good move, especially now as we enter the Christmas season and there is a surge in consumer spending,” PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico said in a news statement issued on Tuesday.

Yujuico said that increasing public transportation capacity will also “support the revitalization of business and the economy.”

The PCCI official said that it is crucial to fully reopen the economy immediately to allow businesses to recoup their losses in the past two years. Still, he stressed the need to adhere to the minimum health and safety standards among the establishments.

Businesses have been struggling amid the pandemic due to the mobility restrictions that dampened demand and reduced operations. The NCR, to recall, was put under enhanced community quarantine—the strictest form of lockdown measure—three times already since last year.

“[Other] Asean countries like Thailand and Singapore have opened up their economies including hotels, travel and tourism, which the Philippines should consider doing to slowly recover and rebuild the economy,” Yujuico said.

In addition, the business group called on to ramp up the vaccination efforts across the country to aid the micro, small and medium enterprises in the provinces as well.

The OCTA Research Group also recently supported the proposal to bring down the alert level in NCR as it is now under moderate risk in terms of Covid-19 cases. This, in addition to low hospital and intensive care utilization rates in the region.

Last week, Malacañang said that Metro Manila would remain under AL 3 until November 14.

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