MANILA – Business groups on Tuesday urged the government to relax the COVID-19 quarantine alert level in Metro Manila in the fourth quarter saying this would help them recover after the disruptions of the pandemic.
Resto PH, the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP), as well as major fitness center chains and salons, also called on the government to allow them to accept more customers during the busier holiday season.
CEAP President Charmaine Bauzon said, once cinemas are allowed to reopen in Metro Manila, the sector can also start recovering across the country.
"But because NCR is closed, there is no point in showing the big movies if it's just in the small provinces, you won't get the same volume," Bauzon explained.
Robert Trota, president of restaurant chain giant Max's Group, said, people who have been vaccinated should be allowed to dine in.
"It's the fourth quarter and it's moving fast, we're going to miss it if we don't do anything or say anything today or don't decide on things to be done," Trota said.
Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion also said they're pushing for a shift to alert level 2 or 3 this coming week from the current alert level 4 which heavily restricts the in-door capacity of most establishments to 20 percent.
Concepcion said pandemic restrictions in the capital region should be relaxed because of rising vaccination rates in Metro Manila as well as the decline in COVID-19 cases.
He added that easing to alert level 1 is possible in Metro Manila by November amid the pace of vaccination and easing of daily COVID-19 cases.
"Once we are aligned with government and the private sector on the approach then there will be better ways of making these judgments," he said.