By: Daily Tribune
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said malls in Metro Manila will be temporarily closed except for components offering basic services as part of the government’s plan to put Metro Manila under a month-long community quarantine in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
“We can now include closure of malls in (the) definition of areas with mass gatherings. (We) have talked to the SME and tenants and mall owners… so that everyone can reduce (operating expenditure) and cut rentals,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.
He said mall components offering key services including supermarkets, hardware stores, drugstores, health clinics, banks and other basic services will remain available.
In a Memorandum Circular released by the DTI, leisure and entertainment establishments are also ordered to close during the said period including night clubs, bars, galleries, concerts, events and exhibits, and gambling facilities such as casinos, bingo halls, and video gaming.
Meanwhile, restaurants, fast-food chains and others outlets outside of malls can continue with their operations, Lopez said.
He also said that employers can assist their staff by advancing their 13th month pay.
He confirmed the government is considering emergency loans for businesses that will be affected by the COVID-19.
Some of the malls which have already announced that they are temporarily closing are: SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, Ayala Malls, Powerplant Mall, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, Greehills Shopping Malls, Starmalls, Riverbanks Center, and Ever Malls.
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