By Junex Doronio
September 13, 2021
LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu – With the shift to the less restrictive General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions; and Cebu and Mandaue, to the even more relaxed GCQ, the business sector said the recently concluded modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) “nearly crippled” the business industry in this province.
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) president Felix Taguiam said the MECQ was an “eye-opener” for everyone as Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) president Steven Yu commented that it caused retail businesses to temporarily close and further burdened micro, small and medium businesses.
“About 30 percent of retail businesses temporarily closed their shops for the duration of the MECQ, and losses heightened for 90 percent of the MSMEs,” Yu said.
The MECQ, which lasted 38 days started on Aug. 1 and ended on Sept. 7.
Yu added that consumers also, have low confidence due to diminished purchasing power and general fear of the coronavirus.
“We have to continue with our efforts to vaccinate more people and provide incentives and privileges to vaccinated individuals,” the MCCI head said.
However, the Cebuano businessmen said they expect consumer spending to increase in the fourth quarter as Filipinos spend more during the Christmas season.
For his part, Taguiam expressed hopes that both business owners and consumers would help each other.
“We cannot endure more hardships as we are now in the fourth quarter. We should have a better and more prepared safe opening of our economy,” he said. (ai/mtvn)