By Argyll Geducos
Malacañang on Thursday said the decision to allow limited dine-in operations of food establishments starting June 15 will allow employees to make a living and to revitalize the economy.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) had announced that restaurants and other similar establishments may restart their dine-in services at limited capacity starting June 15.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque explained that the decision was made while balancing the need to protect the public from COVID-19 and allowing the estimated 11,000 people working in food establishments, including their supply chain, to make a living.
“Meron pong very strict health standards na dapat gawin ng mga restaurants para naman ma-manage yung danger ng pagkalat ng sakit (There are very strict health standards that restaurants must follow to manage the danger of the spread of the disease),” he said.
“So habang sinusunod ‘yang protocols na ‘yan, tingin natin eh bigyan naman natin ng hanapbuhay yung mga restaurants at yung mga nagta-trabaho sa mga restaurants (So while they are following those health protocols, we are giving restaurants and their workers the chance to make a living),” he added.
The gradual reopening of dine-in services in food establishments may begin on June 15, 2020 at 30 percent operational capacity in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ).
The operations shall be subject to their proprietors’ compliance with the proper health protocols set by the DTI and the departments of Health (DOH), Labor and Employment (DOLE), and Tourism (DOT).
The DTI, DOLE, DOT, DOH, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), local government unit (LGU) Health Office, and other deputized organizations shall assess the compliance of the food establishments through a post-audit mechanism.
Dine-in services have been suspended since March 15 because of the threat of COVID-19.
Until recently, only take-out and delivery services were allowed in food establishments, and dine-in was allowed at 50 percent capacity for areas under the modified GCQ.