COVID-19 Crisis: More support for businesses by means of easing restrictions

Are you a business owner who has been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic here in the Philippines? On the national level, more support for businesses by means of easing the restrictions has been pushed for by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III according to a recent news report by GMA Network.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the GMA Network news report. Some parts in boldface…

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Ma. “Joey” Concepcion III on Tuesday called for the need to open up more of the economy in the final quarter of the year, for businesses to recover and be able to pay their dues.

According to Concepcion, the fourth quarter is crucial for businesses given the historically higher consumer spending amid the Christmas holidays.

“We have to open the economy because this is the last quarter. This is time when most negosyantes can get back what they lost in the previous months. Babayaran nila mga 13th month pay, may utang nila sa bangko, sa suppliers [They will have to pay the 13th month pay, their loans in the banks, with suppliers],” he said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing.

Concepcion has been pushing for the imposition of “bakuna bubbles” or pockets of micro-herd immunity among closed groups such as homes and workplaces.

Under the proposed measure, vaccinations will be mandated for a range of indoor gatherings in a bit to boost the country’s immunization efforts and only allow privileges to those fully vaccinated.

At present conditions with only 30% indoor dining allowed for fully vaccinated individuals in Metro Manila, Concepcion said businesses do not gain much, noting that this should be increased to at least 50% to carry businesses over to 2022, or even 70% by November or December.

“Ito ang panahon that we should start to live with COVID. Kung pabagsak ang [If there is a downtrend on the] trajectory ng infection level, then we should open up more and more and then keep an eye, watch out if it reverses then we pull back and we can push back,” said Concepcion.

“For now, it’s only one quarter left ’til the end of the year. Bigay na natin ‘to sa mga negosyaante para mabuhay sila ’til next year. [Let’s give this to the businesses for the thrive until next year],” he added.

In relation to the news above, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) called for businesses to be open on all alert levels. The Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines (CEAP) appealed to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to allow the limited operations of cinemas under the Alert Level 4.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about Joey Concepcion’s statements on supporting businesses a lot? Do you feel confident about the further reopening of the national economy? Do you think that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will understand Concepcion’s pro-business push and make wise decisions this time around?

Can you imagine the MMC and MMDA recommending another enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to the IATF in the near future that will surely destroy jobs and hurt businesses all over again?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.


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