Resto group backs proposal allowing fully vaxxed to enter malls, restaurants

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2021 09:53 AM | Updated as of Aug 23 2021 10:03 AM

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MANILA – A group of restaurant owners in the Philippines is in favor of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion’s proposal to allow only the fully vaccinated to enter malls and restaurants in the National Capital Region.

Resto PH president Eric Teng believes this is a safe way of reopening the economy.

“For us, COVID is a permanent part of life, lockdowns might be a regular occurrence like a typhoon, and therefore we have to have a way to manage it.”

“The only way that we can manage it is to let the vaccinated out whenever there’s a problem, and not to lock everyone in,” he added.

Teng said hard lockdowns only “take us a lot longer to get back to where we were.”

“We don’t see full recovery after 2024 and that’s being optimistic. Because we still have to factor in a lot of new problems with regards to any future variants and any future lockdowns,” he added.

He said that the proposal to let only the fully vaccinated is not discriminatory. 

“It is a temporary measure that even other countries like France and Canada are doing,” he explained.

Teng said that surges in COVID-19 cases have been attributed to restaurants so far.

“You would think our workers are the second most infected people outside of healthcare people. We’re not. In fact some cities just say that less than half a percent of all cases were traceable to the restaurant,” he explained.

He also noted that the food and beverage (F&B) industry has already faced a lot of losses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve lost more than half of our employees, we lost significant numbers of our F&B operators in the industry.”

“We really do handle our problems one day at a time these days. There’s no long-term plan. We’re happy if we can go through a week without closing any restaurants. But sadly, every week, we see members losing their restaurants,” he lamented.