Concepcion: PH to face 'more challenging' situation if ECQ not implemented in NCR

Published August 4, 2021, 10:44 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said the private sector made the right decision in suggesting placing the National Capital Region (NCR) under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) as something “more challenging” will face the country if the government did not decide to do so.

Screenshot of the virtual town hall on the upcoming enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila on August 4, 2021. (Go Negosyo Facebook page)

Concepcion made the statement days ahead of Metro Manila’s shift to ECQ from August 6 to 20, 2021 due to the alarming increase of individuals affected by the more contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a town hall discussion with representatives from the public and private sectors and health experts, Concepcion said while lockdowns hurt the economy, there was no doubt that things would get worse if a preventive measure such as the ECQ would not be implemented.

“It’s a challenging situation and let’s not wait because if we wait too long, we will be up for something more challenging,” he said Wednesday, August 4.

“The lockdown, rather than two weeks, might be even one month or two months at the quarter where everybody wants to celebrate,” he added.

The Go Negosyo founder said the lockdown was necessary to protect the fourth quarter of the year where businesses can make up for what they have lost.

“I felt that we had to act immediately… The fourth quarter, for MSMEs (micro, small, and medium enterprises) and large corporations, is the quarter is when the momentum really builds up,” Concepcion said.

“We know this is the Christmas season so consumer spending is at its highest. And of course, the election spending by then has started to kick off,” he added.

“This is the best time for many entrepreneurs who are losing money in the previous quarters to be able to recover it,” he continued.

According to Concepcion, the COVID-19 pandemic has not spared anybody, and that even large corporations were affected by the crisis.

“Many people, especially the tourism sector, restaurants, Filipino retailers, Filipino franchise, all these different sectors are greatly affected. Nobody is spared,” he said.

Meanwhile, Concepcion noted the upcoming ECQ was necessary to give the public a chance to have a better 2022.

“As we look at 2022, a new year, we want everybody to cross over with full of confidence and hope,” he said.

“We also want the banking community to see that there is a roadmap towards recovery and the best time for many entrepreneurs to recover is in the last quarter,” he added.

Early this week, Concepcion said it was better for Metro Manila to undergo a two-week lockdown as soon as possible instead of imposing the ECQ later in the year.

“We prefer that we solve the problem early and not wait for the problem to get bigger because then we will have a lockdown for months. That is the most catastrophic thing in our country if that happens in the fourth quarter,” he said.