MANILA— A group of finance executives has thanked the government for shifting Metro Manila to looser quarantine under Alert Level 2, calling it "positive news" for the country's economy.
In a statement, Francis Lim, president of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (Finex), said Saturday development in the region would help give jobs and boost the economic sector as the holidays neared.
Lim noted that Metro Manila, home to 13 million people, contributes over 30 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP).
“We welcome with gratitide the government’s announcement that the National Capital region would shift to Alert Level... This is a truly positive news for our struggling economy," Lim's statement on Friday read.
"Even more meaningfully, it will help restore jobs and incomes to our countrymen and enable them and their families to enjoy the Christmas Season," he added.
Because the benefit of the guidelines will mostly be enjoyed by those fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Lim encouraged more people to get inoculated.
"We note that the guidelines mostly limit the benefit of the declaration to the fully vaccinated. In this light, we are hopeful that the government continues its efforts to vaccinate as many of our people at the soonest possible time."
Metro Manila shifted to Alert Level 2 on Nov. 5, down from Alert Level 3. This will remain in effect at least until Nov. 21, allowing more businesses to reopen.
This came as COVID-19 cases in the country continued to decline, with less than 3,000 new daily infections recorded in recent days.
The Management Association of the Philippines on Friday also welcomed the government's decision, noting that the last quarter of the year is a "critical" period for many business.
Some 4.25 million Filipinos were jobless in September as the unemployment rate hit 8.9 percent for the month compared to the 8.1 percent recorded in August.
New cases in the Philippines have dipped in the past few weeks, with an independent research group attributing it to the relatively high COVID-19 vaccination rate.