Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion wants the National Capital Region (NCR or Metro Manila) under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) by October in a bid to get the economy back on track.
“We are already going into the holiday season, which is a time of high consumption and retail activity. The fourth quarter presents an opportunity for MSMEs to recover some of their losses, since Christmas is one of the largest revenue-generating seasons. We need to take the risk, open up the economy safely, and move toward MGCQ so that some economic activity may continue and businesses, especially MSMEs, can resume operations under a controlled environment,” Concepcion underscored.
The recommendation to shift from General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to MGCQ using selective, data-driven quarantines at the barangay level, is supported by various business organizations. “Together with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), Association of Filipino Franchisers, Inc. (AFFI), Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCP), Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), and Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB), we push for MGCQ as we head into the last quarter of the year,” he said.
“The Philippine Franchise Association supports the call to scale down the quarantine level of NCR to MGCQ to bring our economy back on its feet and acceleration mode. Metro Manila makes up 36% of our economy. Restraining its potential to help the national economy move forward is similar to killing the proverbial goose that laid the golden egg,” it said in a statement.
Rosemarie Ong, president of the Philippine Retailers Association, backed the proposal. “As the retail industry being one of the biggest employers in the country, the Philippine Retailers Association supports the call for opening up and loosening the controls for business to operate more efficiently and productively under a Modified GCQ so that we can all contribute to a faster economic recovery for our country,” she said.
“Balancing life and livelihood as we face the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic, we support the call for MGCQ as [a means of] support to MSMEs during the Christmas season,” Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, private sector representative, Microfinance NGO Regulatory Council and president, SEDP, Inc.
Elizabeth Carlos-Timbol, president of Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines, echoes the sentiment. “It’s high time to move to MGCQ. We need to loosen the stranglehold on our economy. Economic activities should not be disrupted to allow the normal flow and delivery of goods, farm products and services to support our clients…We, the banks have to rationally hold the line as we cannot trade off economic survival vs health. Clearly, it is not the choice of one or the other, but a calibration.”
“AFFI welcomes the opening of the economy but appeals to our fellow entrepreneurs to have safety measures in place. We intensify our safety protocols while fully opening our businesses to the public. We commit to the government’s thrust of reboosting our economy as this is crucial to the survival of all but set controls that will protect our businesses and consumers,” Jorge Noel Wieneke, president of AFFI said.