NEDA chief, retail sector upbeat on more ‘normal life’

Photo from Business Mirror

By Business Mirror

Face-to-face classes and a more “normal life” for all may soon become a reality following the decline in Metro Manila’s Covid-19 cases, according to the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda).

The Neda chief, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick T. Chua said bringing down the quarantine level of the National Capital Region (NCR) may happen in a matter of weeks.

Meanwhile, the retail industry is now upbeat about being able to recoup their losses this year with the easing of the Alert Level in Metro Manila earlier this month.

The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA) reported on Wednesday its members are anticipating “to break even” by the end of the year following an increase in their sales—this, after the Department of Health (DOH) lowered last October 16 the alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR) from 4 to 3.

“The good news is the shoppers are now slowly returning. In fact, they are visiting our physical stores. I am sure, since the announcement of Alert Level 3 [in NCR], there has been more mobility and we see more shoppers now in the malls,” PRA President Romarie Ong said in a virtual interview with PTV.

Despite the emergence of online shopping, Ong said “brick-and-mortar” stores will still play a crucial role in completing the experience of shoppers, especially those who want to “touch and feel” the items, which they want to buy.

Ong said they are also eagerly awaiting a lower alert level in NCR just in time for the start of the Christmas shopping season.

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