Despite the rising COVID-19 case in the country, there is no stopping the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to reopen the economy even urging dine-in establishments to extend their opening hours for two more hours or up to 12 midnight to generate more sales.
DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez at the Pres-SONA 2020 Forum has encouraged dine-in restaurants to extend their operations for one to two more hours from 10 pm to 11 or 12 midnight provided they observe the enhanced strict health and safety protocols.
Starting July 21, dine-in restos in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ) are allowed to increase their operating capacities to 50 percent from 30 percent. Those in modified GCQ areas are allowed up to 75 percent from the current 50 percent. A DTI memorandum circular is expected to be issued next week.
The increase in operating capacity followed after a high compliance rate of 92-100 percent for each protocol imposed on dine-in restaurants. Lopez said that DTI monitors 400 establishments everyday.
With the rising COVID cases in the country, Lopez said that establishments are reminded to observe strict health protocols are now enjoined to install proper ventilation equipment and air purifiers.
Lopez noted that the higher number of cases is a result of the higher testing capacity that the government is doing now. He also cited of higher recoveries, lower positive rates and death rates compared to when the testing was just starting.
“What we can guarantee is as we open the economy, we heightened our compliance rules. We close establishments until they correct their deficiencies,” he said.
“As we open, it is likely that we create income to sustain good health of citizenry and protect their livelihood,” he said.
Last July 5, the DTI issued MC No. 20-38 increasing the capacity for barbershops and salons to 50 percent from 30 percent in areas under GCQ starting tomorrow, July 16. Likewise, the agency also allowed for an increase in the operational capacity of such establishments in areas under the Modified GCQ (MGCQ) from 50 percent to 75 percent, by July 16.