DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez
MANILA – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez wants some sectors to operate at full capacity even under general community quarantine (GCQ) status.
In a Senate hearing Monday, Lopez said this would allow more workers to go back to their jobs.
“I am in favor of modified GCQ (MGCQ) just for the purpose of reopening the economy,” he said. “The only thing we’d only like to change is easing up or reopening of some sectors for the workers because of our concern on the poverty and also the hunger.”
The trade chief clarified that easing the community quarantine measure does not mean relaxing the health protocols to manage the spread of Covid-19.
“It doesn’t matter if we’re still in GCQ but we open up some more the economy,” Lopez added.
He cited some services such as legal, accounting, and other field services that are still at 50 percent capacity under GCQ that can be opened up to 100 percent.
Lopez earlier said closed businesses at the height of the lockdown measures in April to May reached 38 percent.
It was also in April that the country recorded its highest unemployment rate of 17.7 percent.
With the further easing of community quarantine measures, closed businesses were fewer in the June to July period at 11 percent, and at 6 percent from August to September period.
The unemployment rate in July declined to 10 percent. (PNA