The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) does not favor an extension of the strict general community quarantine in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, and wants more businesses in these areas to reopen once more on April 5.
OCTA Research had proposed a four-week modified enhanced community quarantine to curb the surge of COVID-19 cases, and said it believes this to be more effective than the two-week bubble for Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The government had placed these areas under stricter restrictions for two weeks until April 4, during which indoor dining, cinemas, driving schools, game arcades, libraries, archives, museums, cultural centers, limited social events at accredited tourism establishments, and limited tourism attractions except open-air attractions are prohibited and curfews are observed.
Gyms, spas and internet cafes are not allowed to operate in Metro Manila as well.
Ruth Castelo, undersecreatry for the DTI, said the department was for balancing the economy and health and would like the economy to reopen once more on April 5.
“If you were to ask the DTI, we’d want to reopen again on April 5,” Castelo said at an online briefing.
She said the government’s economic development cluster was in agreement that there was no need to totally shut down businesses or restrict the movement of people if health measures were followed.
“If we all follow mandatory health protocols, it will help in the continued operation of businesses and, at the same time, we will be able to maintain health,” she said.
She appealed to the public to follow health measures to be able to bring down the surge of cases and ensure the reopening of businesses.
She said the economy could still improve despite the latest round of restrictions.
She noted that only a few sectors, those that are people intensive, have been shut down temporarily.
“All other industries and sectors are still working especially manufacturing, logistics, export, all of these, except for a few services sector. The economy continues to operate,” she said.
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