Business leaders welcome easing quarantine restrictions
(The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Businesses welcome the easing of restrictions for shopping malls and commercial centers are prepared with health and safety measures in their establishments to ensure the safety of consumers who can now venture out of their homes.

This was a commitment shared by industry leaders as they welcomed the recent announcement of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) allowing persons aged 18 to 65 to leave their homes starting Oct. 22. Previously, the age group of authorized persons outside residence was 21 to 60 years old. Curfew hours, which were previously 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., will now be from midnight to 4 a.m.

Members of the private sector-led Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign, a consortium of the country’s biggest companies and brands, lauded the recent government directive, stating that the changes will give the economy a much-needed boost.

“With the safe and gradual reopening of retail spaces, we are ensuring the well-being of our patrons but also that more people are able to recover their sources of livelihood,” said SM Supermalls president Steven Tan. “SM has over 89,000 direct micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) partners.”

For his part, Megaworld’s chief strategy officer, Kevin Tan, said: “We believe that the increases in operational capacity made possible by the new guidelines will have a positive impact on employment. A shorter and later curfew will also allow workers to travel with ease and will prevent situations of overcrowding because people are rushing home to beat the curfew.”

Also benefiting from the relaxing of the restrictions are businesses such as fast-food chains and restaurants.

McDonald’s Philippines president and CEO Kenneth Yang is looking forward to more diners. “We’re thankful, this is a welcome development. Customers now have more time to visit us. More operating hours will translate to additional shifts; this means more of our people can go back to work.”

Vigilance essential to recovery

For his part, George Royeca, chief transport advocate of Angkas and proponent of Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat, underscores that learning to live with COVID-19 entails vigilance.

The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign provides establishment owners and consumers with tools and information to safely travel, shop from their favorite stores, and patronize their favorite restaurants. Businesses of all sizes can participate in the campaign by downloading and using the free visual assets available on the website: www.ingat-angat.com.

The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign is led by the nation’s largest corporations and best-loved brands including Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Alliance Global Group (Megaworld, Resorts World, Emperador), Jollibee Foods Corporation, McDonald’s Philippines, Goldilocks, BDO, BPI, Metrobank, Paymaya, Alaska, Champion, Century Pacific Food Inc., Coca Cola Philippines, Oishi Liwayway Marketing Corp., PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble Philippines, RFM Corporation, Unilever, Petron/San Miguel Corporation, Shell, Ayala Malls, Filinvest Development Corporation, Robinsons Malls, SM Supermalls, Globe Telecom, Smart Communications, Angkas and Food Panda.

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