MANILA - The Department of Trade and Industry said Monday it was "confident" in allowing several businesses to operate at full capacity as the economy continued to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency earlier allowed "labor-intensive" services to operate at 100 percent capacity while restaurants' dine-in services may resume from 50 percent of its capacity, said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez.
Lopez cited the country's improving critical utilization care and its low COVID-19 mortality rate.
"Ibig sabihin talaga po namemaintain naman natin yung disiplina sa pagkontrol at pagsunod sa minimum health standards. Kaya naman tayo ay confident sa gradual reopening na hindi po lalala ang sitwasyon," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
(It means we're really maintaining our discipline in controlling and following minimum health standards. That's why we're confident in a gradual reopening that won't worsen the situation.)
"Hindi ho talaga mako-compromise yan. Kaya po tayo tumuloy sa pagbubukas dahil malinaw po na susundin ang minimum health standards."
(It will not be compromised. That's why we pushed through with the reopening because it's clear minimum health standards will be followed.)
Should a spike in virus cases occur, localized or granular lockdowns will be imposed and intensive contact tracing efforts will be done, Lopez said.
"Doble, tripleng ingat pero di naman kailangan nakakulong dahil ang ekonomiya malaki na ang binagsak, maraming nagugutom, maraming may ibang sakit, ayon po yun sa pag-aaral ng NEDA. Base sa statistics mas malaki pa ang namamatay na hindi COVID-related," he said.
(We will double, triple our care but we don't need to be locked up because our economy has taken a big hit, many are hungry and many are suffering from other diseases, according to NEDA's study. Based on statistics, more die of illnesses that are not COVID-related.)
The agency also continues to encourage work from home setups, Lopez said.
"Ang ibang improvement na pinapagawa natin, pinapa-stagger natin, kinakalat ang office hours para hindi magsabay-sabay ang transportation at di magkahawahan," he said.
(Among improvements we called for are staggering office hours so workers won't overcrowd transportation and lessen chances of infection.)
The Philippines as of Sunday reported 322,497 cases of COVID-19, with 5,776 deaths and 273,079 recoveries.