Trade dept says 'considers' increasing restaurants' dine-in capacity


Posted at Jul 02 2020 11:46 AM | Updated as of Jul 02 2020 11:52 AM

Restaurants in Uptown Bonifacio in Taguig City implement physical distancing measures for dine-in customers on June 18, 2020, amid the general community quarantine. Restaurants are currently allowed to accept dine-in customers up to 30 percent capacity with health protocols in place prior to entry to establishment. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- Increasing the dine-in limit for restaurants is being considered as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions gradually ease, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Thursday.

Dine-in options for restaurants were earlier allowed under the general community quarantine but with a limit of 30 percent capacity and with strict health protocols.

Restaurants can accommodate dine-in customers up to 50 percent capacity when areas shift to Modified GCQ from GCQ, the DTI earlier said.

Increasing the dine-in limit will provide more jobs for workers and revenues for businesses, he said.

"Ngayong tumatagal ang GCQ at hindi pa natin alam ang MGCQ schedule natin siguro 'yun din ang isang icoconsider natin na mapataas natin ang level ng operating capacity para mas marami pang makatrabaho," Lopez told Teleradyo.

(Now that we've extended the GCQ, we don't know when will be the MGCQ. What we are considering is to increase the level of operating capacity so that many workers can have jobs)

The InterAgency Task Force for COVID-19 would eventually "adjust" as the restrictions further ease, he said. However, there is no definite date for modified general community quarantine yet, Lopez said.

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Unemployment ballooned by 17.7 percent in April, equivalent to 7.3 million jobless Filipinos due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lockdowns.

Metro Manila, which accounts for a third of the economy and home to a tenth of the country's 100 million people, remains under GCQ.