MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry on Friday said the expansion of the lockdown alert level system from Metro Manila to other economic hubs will not impact operations of establishments and factories.
In a virtual conference by Taskforce T3 (Test, Trace, and Treat), some business leaders expressed concerns that the granular lockdowns under the new alert level system may impact the operations of companies in areas outside Metro Manila.
But DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez told private sector officials in the conference that "the practice has always been these granular lockdowns should be smaller in scope."
"It could be one, two houses, not even one street so don't be worried about locking down a lot of workers. This will have a very minimal impact for the economy," he explained.
Lopez also said that based on their discussions, the lockdowns will only involve residential areas and will not be implemented in factories or commercial establishments.
For commercial areas where COVID-19 cases may be reported, he explained that these will only be closed for a day or two to allow disinfection of the places.
"The granular lockdown and alert level system will be rolled out first to the regions which are big contributors to GDP (gross domestic product). So that will be our priority," he said.
The new alert level system will be implemented in Region IV-A or Calabarzon where a lot of industrial zones are located, and as well as Metro Cebu for the Visayas, and Davao area in Mindanao.
The alert level system has been in pilot testing in Metro Manila where more economic activities are allowed, and only concentrated or granular lockdowns will be implemented in places where COVID-19 cases are more prevalent.
From October 16 to 31, Metro Manila's alert level will be under Alert Level 3, the second strictest classification in the government's new quarantine system.
The community quarantine system is still being implemented in the rest of the country, with the enhanced community quarantine still the strictest classification, and the modified general community quarantine allowing the most mobility.