DOLE hopes for further reopening of economy

Published September 23, 2021, 8:35 AM

by Betheena Unite

While allowing indoor dine-in and personal care services to reopen under a limited capacity operation helps displaced workers, it “will not make much dent” in recovering employment losses, an official of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

A restaurant staff cleans a table after the IATF allowed indoor dining in NCR at limited capacity on April 30, 2021 (Ali Vicoy/MANILA BULLETIN)

“Of course we’re happy na granular yung lockdown hindi buong region. Malaking impact din po yun sa pagpapasigla ng ating employment at ekonomiya (Of course, we’re happy that lockdowns are only granular and not the entire region. It is a big impact in recovering employment and the economy),” DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique R. Tutay said during a virtual presser Wednesday, Sept. 22.

“But sad to say yung mga 10 percent lang yung puwede, yung mga 30 percent (that the 10 to 30 percent allowed capacity), it will not make much dent in terms of recovering the employment that are lost,” Tutay added.

This is why the Labor department is hoping that business establishments will soon be allowed to operate with 50 to 75 percent capacity.

“Mas maganda sana kung bubuksan pa natin ang ekonomiya. Sabi ko nga siguro kung 50 to 75 percent malaking bagay na po yun para mapasigla natin yung state of employment lalo na ngayon na palaging napapabalita na marami na yung nababakunahan sa ating mga kababayan (It would be better if we further open the economy. As what I said, maybe 50 to 75 percent will be a big help to recover the state of employment especially now that more and more people are getting vaccinated),” the Labor official said.

Under the alert level 4 placed in Metro Manila, indoor dine-in services and select personal care services have been allowed to operate only for fully-vaccinated individuals at a limited 10 percent capacity.

Outdoor or alfresco dine-in services in restaurants are also allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity, regardless of customers’ vaccination status.

Personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons are allowed to operate at 30 percent if these services are conducted outdoors, regardless of customers’ vaccination status.

Tutay further said that they hope the entire Metro Manila will no longer go back to stricter community restrictions in order for them to also achieve the one-million jobs goal under the employment recovery plan from 2021 to 2022.

“Kung tutuloy tuloy lang sana maaaring (If this continues we can be) close to hitting the target because we are now in September and there’s barely one quarter more to go before 2021. Medyo maganda yung prospects (The prospects look good),” Tutay said.