Businesses gear up to reopen as restrictions gradually ease in the Philippines

More business industries such as the fitness, sports, travel, and leisure sector are gearing up to open as the government further eases restrictions in areas under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

TDepartment of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez in a briefing held last Tuesday, June 9, said businesseswill be allowed to open at 50% capacity in MGCQ areas.

These businesses include gyms, fitness studios, and sports facilities; kid amusement industries; and entertainment industries like cinemas, theatres, and karaoke bars.

Establishments that tend to be places where large numbers of people tend to socialise will be permitted to open as well, these include: libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers; tourist destinations such as water parks, beaches, and resorts; travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities; other personal care services such as massage parlors, sauna, facial care, and waxing; and pet grooming services.

Internet and computer shops are allowed to operate for educational purposes only and are subject to strict health protocols as well as other educational support establishments, such as testing centers, tutorial and review centers, language, driving, dancing, acting, and voice schools.

In terms of rental payment arrangement in MGCQ areas, landlords and landowners can start collecting rents from their tenants whose businesses were not allowed to operate under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), modified ECQ, and GCQ.

The minimum 30-day grace period for residential rents and commercial rents for businesses that were not allowed to operate under ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ shall commence from the last due date, or from the lifting of the ECQ, MECQ, and GCQ, whichever is longer, without incurring interests, penalties, fees, and other charges, Lopez said.

With more sectors permitted to operate, the DTI chief is optimistic that more businesses and jobs will be saved.

“If they won’t close and continue to create jobs — because (of) these jobs, the income of these workers, they will stimulate our economy,” Lopez said. Further adding that the administration remains bullish with the economy’s medium-term outlook despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Hopefully, we can even say a 9% growth rate by 2021 if we recover from this pandemic,” he added.

Balikbayan Media Center
Balikbayan Media Center

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