MANILA - Several businesses "prefer" to have a lockdown next month to immediately arrest the spread of COVID-19's Delta variant than have stricter community quarantine policies in the last quarter of the year, a Malacañang adviser said, Wednesday.
The months of September, October, November and December are more profitable for business, said Joey Concepcion, presidential adviser on entrepreneurship.
"This is the quarter where consumers spend for Christmas. This is the quarter where election spending is expected to pour in," he said.
"This is the quarter that would spell the difference what 2022 would be," he said.
August would be a good month to implement a "circuit-breaker lockdown" as most businesses limit spending during this time as auspicious investors consider it as a "ghost month."
"August is a ghost month. It is the weakest month for most of us so... The whole strategy is to hit it now if a lockdown is inevitable," he said.
"We prefer we solve the problem early than wait for the problem to be bigger and then lockdown for months," he said.
Independent research group OCTA has been urging the government to impose a "circuit-breaking" lockdown to arrest the spread another uptick in coronavirus infections due to the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the Philippines cannot afford another lockdown, but noted that he might consider it should there be another surge of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.
"We cannot afford more lockdowns lest our economy bleeds to the point of irreversible damage," Duterte said about 2 hours into his final State of the Nation Address (SONA).
"If it requires a new vaccine, we don't have it yet. Maybe we just have to pray for salvation," he said.
As of July 24, Philippines has confirmed 119 Delta variant cases.
The DOH has also tallied 94 additional Alpha variant cases, 179 Beta variant cases, and 9 cases of the P.3 variant or the variant first detected in the Philippines.
The DOH earlier said that Metro Manila's healthcare capacity is expected to be at 'moderate risk' in event of a new COVID-19 surge.