MANILA, Philippines – Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez welcomed the decision of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) to shorten the uniform curfew hours being implemented amid the coronavirus pandemic-induced community quarantine.
In a Palace briefing on Monday, Lopez said shorter curfew hours would allow restaurants and other business establishments to operate for longer hours. This would also give workers and businesses additional income.
“Malaking tulong ito kasi yung extension ng opening hours nila will allow additional one or two more turnovers, yun palit ng tao and more customers,” Lopez said.
“Of course, mas malaking kita para sa mga workers sa mga istablisyementong iyon, that means they can close around 10, 10:30 and will still allow greater mobility,” he added.
On Monday, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent head of the MMC, announced that the 17 Metro Manila mayors have unanimously agreed to adjust the curfew hours in the region in a bid to spur economic activity.
Abalos said the curfew hours will be implemented from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. starting June 15. Previous curfew hours started at 10 p.m.
Metro Manila is under general community quarantine (GCQ) with restrictions until June 15.
Earlier in the day, Inter-Agency Task Force and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that new community quarantine classifications to be implemented in the country after June 15 will be announced on Monday night.
He said there is a possibility that Metro Manila and nearby areas will be placed under the regular GCQ due to lower COVID-19 daily and two-week attack rate and healthcare utilization rate.
Roque, however, noted that the number of COVID-19 cases remains high in the country.
“Most likely, it will be ordinary GCQ, this has been announced also publicly as the recommendation of our implementers, the Metro Manila mayors. Although I don’t want to second-guess, an ordinary GCQ would result in higher percentage capacity particularly for indoor dining and indoor facilities,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)