Since Metro Manila officially shifted into Alert Level 3 this past Saturday, there was indeed an increase of the number of people who visited the restaurants, the shopping malls and other places in the City of Muntinlupa which is the result of the easing of restrictions. What the Manila Bulletin reported, I myself confirm it is true. That being said, the local food and beverage businesses now have a better chance to recover as there are more people of Muntinlupa who got fully vaccinated and the relaxed rules on their operations provided a lot more freedom.
To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…
There was an increase in the number of people in restaurants, malls and parks in Muntinlupa on Oct. 16, the first day of the implementation of Alert Level 3 in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) downgraded the alert level in NCR from 4 to 3, which took effect on Oct. 16 and will last on Oct. 31.
Under Alert Level 3, more business establishments and activities are allowed to operate including cinemas.
According to Muntinlupa police chief, Col. Melecio Buslig, because of the downgraded alert level in Muntinlupa, there was an “abrupt increase” in individuals eating in dine-in restaurants and going to malls, parks, and other places of convergence.
He also said there was an increase in public and private vehicles on major thoroughfares, and an increase in the number of commuters in transport terminals.
Heavy traffic was observed from Muntinlupa to Binan, Laguna from Saturday afternoon to evening as more vehicles were on the road.
Shopping malls in Muntinlupa adjusted their operating hours due to the new alert level. SM Center Muntinlupa now operates from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Starmall Alabang announced that until Oct. 31, its mall hours are from 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. from Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every Friday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Saturday to Sunday.
“Customers aged 18 to 65 years old only are allowed in the mall. Supermarket, drug stores, convenience stores, banks, courier services, money changer & remittance services, ATM centers, hardware & home essentials are open. Restaurants & food establishments are open for al fresco dining at 50% capacity and indoor dining at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated customers only. They are also open for pick-up, takeout and delivery,” it said.
The mall added that “pet shops, book stores, IT shops, toy stores, fashion and retail shops are open. Beauty salons, barber shops, and nail spas are open at 50% capacity if conducted outdoor and at 30% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated customers only. Recreational venues such as arcades, bowling alleys, cinemas, and similar venues are open at 30% capacity for fully vaccinated customers only.”
In relation to the above news report, I can confirm that during my visit at Molito here in Alabang on Saturday I saw more people eating outdoors at a few restaurants I passed by and there was a long line of customers at a certain Japanese restaurant nearby. During my visit at Festival Mall on Sunday (2nd day of Alert Level 3) in the late morning, I noticed the crowd of people was light (note: the mall opened at 11AM) but I noticed more customers flocking to the restaurants and coffee shops than before. For the newcomers reading this, to dine in or seat in a food/beverage joint, you must be fully vaccinated with evidence shown and you must use the StaySafe.ph app for online contact tracing. With a lot more people vaccinated fully (2 doses of vaccines of different brands or with the single dose of the Janssen vaccine) already, there is a huge market of customers for the food/beverage joints to cater to indoors. Alert Level 3 also paves the way for people to worship the Lord at church venues both indoors and outdoors.
Alert Level 3 is still far away from achieving pre-pandemic conditions but it sure is much better not only for businesses but also for the people who have gotten tired of the restrictions of Alert Level 4, the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and the dreaded enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Alert Level 3 is a positive development and we should thank our Lord and glorify Him for the breakthrough as it is a crucial step towards normalcy and socio-economic recovery!
Residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/
Muntinlupa minors may register online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system at www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac and choose category “C – Rest of Population.”
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what do you think about this latest local development?
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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