MANILA – The Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc. (PAMPI) supports the proposal of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to allow some sectors of the economy to operate at full capacity.
In a statement, PAMPI president Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. said the prolonged lockdown would not drive away the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) but would only force more Filipinos out of their jobs.
“While we recognize that there are risks associated with opening up more businesses, we believe that Secretary Lopez’s proposal will be more beneficial to our economy and to our people in the long run for as long as the standard protocols for Covid-19 prevention are strictly observed,” Tiukinhoy said.
PAMPI also backs Lopez’s statement that some businesses could open even at full capacity, provided employees do not interact closely with one another.
The group has called on consumers to be more disciplined in observing prescribed health and sanitation rules.
In an online media briefing on Tuesday, National Economic and Development Authority Undersecretary Rosemarie Edillon said opening up more sectors could be justified, so long as the public maintains the minimum health standard.
“As people get the hang of complying with the minimum health standards so both the workforce, consuming public, workplaces (and) businesses complying with these minimum health standards, as we get the hang of it, then we can actually justify the opening up of more sectors,” Edillon said.
In a text message, Lopez cited businesses that are safe to operate at full capacity even under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
These are legal accounting; financial services; management consultancy; architecture and engineering; science and research and development; advertising and market research; computer programming; publishing and printing; film, music, and television production; recruitment and placement agencies for overseas employment; photography services; wholesale-retail trade services; and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles.
He added to the list the malls and commercial centers, hardware, clothing and accessories, bookstores, infant care supplies, pet care supplies, information technology (IT), communications and electronic equipment, flower shops, jewelry stores, music and toy stores, art galleries, and firearms and ammunition trading, subject to Philippine National Police regulation.
On Monday night, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Metro Manila would remain under GCQ until October 31, along with Batangas, Tacloban City, Bacolod City, Iligan City, and Iloilo City.
A stricter quarantine measure will be observed in Lanao del Sur by next month, while the rest of the country will be placed under modified GCQ. (PNA)