By: Ronnel Domingo, Inquirer.net
The government will allow operation at full capacity of business activities in 17 sectors, from mining and construction to film production and pet shops, in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) as part of its efforts to rebuild the Philippine economy, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced.
In his Memorandum Circular No. 20-52, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said there was an increasing need “to provide stability for businesses, restimulate the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and address the growing number of joblessness, poverty and hunger incidence in the country.”
The new guidelines in the memo will take effect upon the circular’s publication and filing with the University of the Philippines Law Center.
Aside from mining and quarrying, those that will be allowed to operate with 100 percent of their workforce include financial services other than banks, such as money exchange, insurance, reinsurance and lending companies; legal and accounting; management consultancy; architecture and engineering; technical testing and analysis; scientific and research development; advertising and market research; computer programming, information services and related activities; and publishing and printing services.
In addition to government or construction projects also allowed were film, music and TV production; job recruitment for overseas; “other” services, such as photography, fashion, industrial, graphic and interior design; wholesale and retail trade of vehicles; repair of motor vehicles, including car wash; nonleisure activities in malls and commercial centers; and nonleisure wholesale and retail.
The last category covers hardware stores; clothing and accessories; bookstores and school and office supplies; infant care supplies; pet shops, pet food and pet care supplies; information technology, communications and electronic equipment; flower, jewelry, novelty, antique, perfume shops; toy stores except their playgrounds and amusement areas; music stores; art galleries (selling only); and firearms and ammunition trading.
Lopez said that based on regular monitoring activities conducted by the DTI, the businesses in the new list covered in his memo had not been allowed to fully operate under GCQ but were found “compliant with the minimum public health and safety protocols.”
The DTI also considered the Department of Health’s assessment that it now took longer for the number of COVID-19 cases to double in places under GCQ and that the rate that critical care facilities were being used had decreased.
The DTI will also allow barbershops and salons to operate up to 75-percent capacity but “subject to strict physical distancing.”
Dine-in services at restaurants and fast-food establishments are now allowed at more than 50 percent of capacity also with strict physical distancing.
Read more HERE.