MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry said Sunday it is against the proposed mandatory requirement of a vaccine pass to get inside indoor establishments.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the agency was open the private sector's proposal to give a discount for those inoculated against COVID-19.
"Kami ho, hindi ho kami sang-ayon sa vaccine pass na gagawing mandatory... Hindi po siguro talaga puwede yun. May issue sa discrimination; pangalawa napakababa pa ng ating percentage na na-vaccinate na population," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(We don't agree to this proposal to make vaccine pass mandatory. It doesn't seem likely. There's a discrimination issue, and the percentage of our population that's already vaccinated is too low.)
"Siguro 2 percent pa lang kasi over 2 million pa lang tayo (ng nabakunahan)... Kailangan pag-aralan yan pag medyo mataas na ang porsyento."
(Maybe it's around 2 percent because there are only over 2 million vaccinated. We need to study this if the percentage is high.)
As of May 12, over 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered in the country, according to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. Over 5.15 million more have yet to be administered.
Government has yet to reopen entertainment, recreational, amusement and indoor sports and indoor tourist attractions due to the possibility of high-transmissibility of COVID-19 indoors, said Lopez.
The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 will likely consider easing restrictions on establishments that have already reopened in the next quarantine level, he added.
"Pagandahin nila ang ventilation sa lugar nila," he said.
(Businesses should improve ventilation in their facilities.)
Businesses are also reminded to assign health protocol officers and committees to ensure compliance with minimum health standards, he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week approved the shift of Metro Manila and nearby Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces back under general community quarantine "with heightened restrictions" from May 15 to 31.
Indoor dine-in services in NCR Plus is allowed at 20-percent venue or seating capacity while outdoor or al fresco dining shall be at half of the venue or seating capacity, Malacañang said.
On Sunday, the Department of Tourism said Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego in Intramuros, Manila will start accepting visitors beginning Monday, May 17, following the easing of quarantine restrictions.
The number of guests, however, will be limited, and the operating hours will be shortened.
IATF guidelines for the new quarantine classification allow the opening of tourist attractions at 30 percent of venue capacity, and subject to health protocols.
“The re-opening of Fort Santiago and Baluarte San Diego will allow visitors to again experience the World’s Leading Tourist Attraction as recognized by the prestigious World Tourism Awards,” Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.
Fort Santiago will accommodate only 200 visitors, while the Baluarte de San Diego will allow a maximum of 100 persons at a time, which are both below the 30 percent threshold but are deemed essential to ensure monitoring of proper protocols, said the DOT.
Fort Santiago will open daily from 9 a.m. with last entry for visitors at 6:30 p.m. The Baluarte de San Diego garden opens from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both are limited to visitors aged 18 to 65, in compliance with the age restrictions set by the IATF.
Entrance fee, which may be paid in cash or via Beep card or PayMaya, is P75. Seniors, students and persons with disabilities are entitle to the discounted price of P50.