NCR business owners hope for lower alert level in October

Robie de Guzman   •   September 28, 2021   •   89

MANILA, Philippines – A group of business owners on Tuesday expressed hope that the COVID-19 alert level in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be lowered in the last three months of the year in order for them to recoup their losses amid the pandemic.

Resto PH president Eric Teng said shifting to a more relaxed alert level will help business owners as this will allow them more dine-in capacity.

“We’re just asking to move the country slowly, responsibly to the next stage which is alert level 3.  At alert level 3, for example, in our industry, our dining capacity will just go from 10 percent to 30 percent. That’s not significantly a big jump. But for us, it allows us to hire more people because wala namang ayudang nakakarating sa mga empleyado namin at sa pamilya nila eh,” Teng said.

Metro Manila is currently under alert level 4 in line with the alert levels system being piloted in the capital region.

Under level 4, restaurants are allowed to have dine-in customers at 10 percent capacity while level 3 allows up to 30 percent dine-in capacity.

Teng said that not all restaurants were able to operate under level 4, as some do not have outdoor dining space.

But they hope for a better alert level starting next month to help business owners makeup for some of their losses this year.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion also voiced the same opinion, saying lowering Metro Manila’s alert level in the fourth quarter will be beneficial for business.

With a vaccination rate projected to hit 80 percent by October, Concepcion said a loosening of quarantine restrictions is warranted.

“Tataas dito yung consumer spending dahil sa Christmas, at palagay ko, election spending. So, importante na ang quarter na ito sana ay ipalagay na ang quarantine ibaba sa level 3,” he said at a Palace briefing.

Concepcion also pushed for an improvement in the provisions for fully vaccinated individuals under alert levels 2 & 3.

“Kasi importante dito yung capacity, dapat itaas para mas maganda ang benta nila at tatlong buwan lang sa itong quarter. Importante dito na mabawi nila yung mga lugi nila para mabayaran yung 13th month pay sa mga empleyado pagpasok dito ng Christmas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said Concepcion’s proposals will be tackled in the next meeting of the government’s task force on COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 vaccination sa mga bata, palalawigin sa 13 ospital sa Metro Manila – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mula sa walong ospital ay palalawigin pa sa 13 ospital sa Metro Manila ang isinasagawang pediatric vaccination kontra COVID-19, partikular sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 at may co-morbidity.

Ayon kay Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, tinukoy na ng ilang local government unit (LGU) ang mga ospital na isasama na rin sa listahan ng mga pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna.

Magsisimula aniya ang expansion sa ika-22 ng Oktubre.

“Ngayon naman po ay pupunta naman po tayo sa mga LGU-based hospitals ‘no and magdaragdag po ng thirteen additional local hospitals doon sa mga ospital na nagsimula na sa national ‘no,” ani Malaya.

“So, ito po ay magsisimula ngayong Friday hanggang October 31. So, ang bawat LGU po ay nag-identify ng isang local hospital para maisama sa pilot ng pediatric vaccination,” dagdag pa niya.

Kabilang sa mga ospital na idaragdag sa vaccination site ay ang Caloocan Medical Center, Ospital ng Parañaque, at ang Pasay General Hospital.

Ang walong ospital na kasalukuyang pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna ay ang Philippine Children’s Medical Center,
National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center,
Pasig City General Hospital,
 Fe Del Mundo Medical Center,
 Philippine General Hospital,
 Makati Medical Center at ang St. Luke’s Medical Center sa Taguig.

Paalala ng mga otoridad sa mga magulang na nais pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak na may co-morbidity na makipag-ugnayan sa nakakasakop na LGU at magpakita ng mga kaukulang dokumento, pati na ang parent consent.

Mula a-16 ng Oktubre ay nasa 1,509 bata na ang nakatanggap ng COVID-19 shots batay sa ulat ng Department of Health.

PNP assessing need to deploy more cops in NCR public areas – Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Monday said he has directed all unit commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) to continue to assess the need for the deployment of additional police officers in public areas.

Eleazar issued the directive following the downgrading of COVID-19 alert in the NCR to level 3.

The PNP chief noted that in the first weekend of the Alert Level 3 implementation, a number of people flocked to public areas including churches across the metro, the Dolomite Beach at the Baywalk, the Marikina River Park, the Quirino Grandstand, and the Mall of Asia grounds.

A number of people also went outside for their outdoor exercises, he added.

“I have tasked all concerned police offices to determine if there is a need to deploy more cops to enforce the minimum health standards. Kailangang matiyak pa rin natin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan dahil baka ito na naman ang pagmulan ng pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa NCR,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Kung gusto nating tuloy-tuloy ang pagbaba ng bilang ng natamaan ng COVID-19, kailangang mapairal pa rin ang disiplina at pagsunod sa mga panuntunan sa ilalim ng Alert Level 3. Hindi dahil may pagluluwag na nagaganap, magsisilabasan na tayo sa ating mga tahanan at babalewalain na ang health and safety protocols,” he added.

Meanwhile, Eleazar said they would wait for the decision of the government’s task force for COVID-19 response regarding the mobility of minors amid the easing of some protocols and opening of more business establishments.

“Kami sa PNP ay tagapagpatupad lamang ng mga batas at regulasyon. Hihintayin namin kung ano ang magiging resolusyon nila sa bagay na ito at amin itong ipapatupad nang maayos,” he said.

The capital region will be under Alert Level 3 until Oct. 31.

Under Alert Level 3, the public’s movement, including intrazonal and interzonal travel, will be allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and co-morbidities as determined by the local government units.

Individual outdoor exercises will also be allowed for all ages regardless of vaccination status or co-morbidities.

More establishments will also be allowed to re-open at a maximum of 30 percent capacity.

COVID-19 Alert Level 3 sa Metro Manila, epektibo na bukas

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Simula sa Sabado, Oktubre 16, ay nasa ilalim na ng COVID-19 Alert Level 3 ang Metro Manila bunsod ng patuloy na pagbaba ng kaso ng hawaan sa rehiyon.

Sa ilalim ng Alert Level 3, pinapayagan ang paglabas sa bahay ng mga tao anuman ang kanilang edad, pagbiyahe sa loob at labas ng rehiyon at indibidwal na pag-eehersisyo sa labas ng bahay.

Ito ay maliban na lang kung may ipatutupad na age at comorbidity restrictions ang nakakasakop na local government unit.

Mas marami na ring establisyemento at business activities ang pahihintulutang magbukas maliban sa mga lugar na nasa ilalim ng granular lockdowns.

Bawal pa rin ang pagsasagawa ng face-to-face classes para sa basic education maliban sa mga lugar na aprubado ng pamahalaan.

Hindi rin papayagan ang contact sports pati na ang pagbubukas ng funfairs, kid amusement industries, mga lugar na may live performers at audiences, casinos, horse racing, sabungan, at pagtitipon ng mga residente na may indibidwal na hindi kasama sa bahay.

Sa ilalim ng Alert Level 3, pahihintulutan ang operasyon ng iba pang mga negosyo hanggang 30 percent seating capacity para sa fully vaccinated, at 50 percent outdoor venue capacity, anoman ang vaccination status.

May karagdagang kapasidad din sa mga pinahihintulutang establisimiyento kung may safety seal, at kung naabot na ang higit 70 percent na vaccination rate sa senior citizens at may comorbidities sa lugar.

Para sa mga negosyante, malaking tulong ang pagluluwag sa mga mga panuntunan lalo na sa mga nalalabing buwan ng taon.

Paliwanag ni Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, maisasalba nito ang maraming micro, small and medium enterprises mula sa pagkalugi dahil maraming tao ang gumagastos para sa holiday season.

“What’s more important is really saving this fourth quarter. This is the last stop where people can jump in the bus and move towards next year. But for that to happen, we need to open the economy and safely,” ani Concepcion.

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