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Alert Level 2 pushed in NCR for November

The Philippine Star
Alert Level 2 pushed in NCR for November
Citing OCTA Research fellow Guido David and molecular biologist Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, Concepcion said even Level 1 is possible in November or December as COVID-19 cases have begun to decline.
The STAR / Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion wants Metro Manila placed under lower alert level – Level 2 at the minimum – by next month to help businesses recover at a time when consumer spending is expected to reach its highest.

At an online meeting organized by Go Negosyo to discuss next steps for the National Capital Region (NCR), Concepcion said he is hopeful Metro Manila would be at Alert Level 2 at the minimum by November.

“November to me is the most critical because November and December is when spending is at the highest. So ideally we should be at the minimum Level 2,” he said.

Citing OCTA Research fellow Guido David and molecular biologist Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, Concepcion said even Level 1 is possible in November or December as COVID-19 cases have begun to decline.

“So if we can get them (government) to agree that we are able to shift down to Level 2 or modified Level 3 this coming week, I think that will be good. Then, we can push more to be able to achieve really opening up,” he said.

Earlier, he said it is time for the government to consider downgrading Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 or Alert Level 3 with 50 percent capacity for businesses, and reopening of cinemas and wellness industry.

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4. At the Laging Handa briefing yesterday, Concepcion said businesses hardly earn at 30 percent capacity.

“Now at 50 percent, you can earn some money. It won’t be that big but at least they would have enough to pay their obligations and hopefully carry them forward until 2022,” he said.

Businesses such as restaurants, gyms and cinemas have expressed support for Concepcion’s push to bring Metro Manila to lower alert levels.

Resto PH president Eric Teng said during the Go Negosyo meeting that restaurants fully support the position to go down to Alert Level 2 or 3.

“We already have close to 80 percent vaccinated in Metro Manila…We will have more next month. So this is something we must be confident about. We must trust the vaccine. We must let the vaccinated out. Let us give them more freedom to revive our economy,” he said.

Anytime Fitness Philippines co-founder Miguel Gutierrez said gyms also support having Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 or 3.

For her part, Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines president Charmaine Bauzon said cinemas want to be allowed to operate at least at 30 percent capacity to be able to restart only for fully vaccinated.

She said it would be important to convince not just the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases but also local government units, citing that while cinemas were allowed by the pandemic task force to reopen in February, Metro Manila mayors decided to keep these closed.

“This time around, we hope everybody would fully support,” she said.

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