MANILA – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) wants to further relax rules for restaurants and fast-food establishments by allowing them to operate 24 hours.
During the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said they are asking local government units (LGUs) to lift the curfew hours for food businesses so the latter could cater to those working the graveyard shift.
“What we are saying is to allow the restaurants that would like to open (during) curfew (hours), lift the curfew for these food establishments because they serve those who are working on night shift or after midnight,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
Although Metro Manila mayors have allowed delivery services to operate for 24 hours, Lopez also wants to relax the rules for dine-in services.
“This is part of the gradual reopening. We are not relaxing our health protocols. Nothing to change but allowing them to reopen,” he said.
However, Lopez noted that the DTI still leaves it to the LGUs to determine the extent of the capacity they would allow food establishments to operate.
In areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), dine-in services in restaurants and fast-food chains are allowed to open up to 50 percent of their capacity.
He said the DTI would issue a document that would allow some businesses in the service sector to operate at full capacity, even in GCQ areas.
The move, Lopez said, aims to bring more workers back to their jobs amid the increasing number of Filipinos experiencing hunger and poverty amid the pandemic. (PNA)