Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion urged the government’s pandemic task force to review the guidelines on access for fully vaccinated individuals under the new Alert Levels System being piloted in Metro Manila.
Concepcion made the statement as the National Capital Region (NCR) inches close to the end of the pilot implementation of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) quarantine protocols in the region on September 30.
In a letter, the Go Negosyo founder pointed out to the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases that although the new Alert Levels System clearly stated that only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed to engage in indoor activities in select business establishments under Alert Level 4, it did not make clear the qualifying conditions for Alert Levels 2 and 3.
“This can present a risk both to the unvaccinated customers and the employees of the establishment,” he said.
Concepcion asked the government to review and consider allowing only fully vaccinated individuals for indoor business transactions across Alert Levels 2 to 4, and increase the capacity of businesses allowed to open.
“We have to be consistent and extend privileges for the fully vaccinated across all alert levels as the goal is to reopen safely,” he said.
“If we reach Alert Level 1 where it is deemed safe, then anyone can freely move. But if there are risks, let’s protect those who have not received the vaccine,” he added.
Concepcion has proposed that indoor businesses such as dining and personal care services be allowed to take in more fully vaccinated customers once areas are placed under Alert Levels 2 and 3.
“We can increase the capacity even further for the fully vaccinated as we move to lower alert levels,” he suggested.
“A higher percentage means more chances for the businesses to gain back months’ worth of losses so they can pay back their financial obligations,” he said.
Under Alert Level 4 of the new system, outdoor or al fresco dine-in services are allowed at a maximum of 30 percent regardless of vaccination status. Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at up to 10 percent seating capacity but for fully vaccinated individuals only.
Outdoor personal care services limited to barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, and beauty salons shall be allowed at a maximum of 30 percent seating capacity while the said services can be offered indoors to fully vaccinated people at a limited 10 percent seating capacity.
According to Concepcion, allowing more mobility for the fully vaccinated will make it possible to safely ease the economy into recovery.
“In this way, we can capture the safe reopening of the economy while preventing surge of cases brought by unvaccinated individuals,” he said.
Concepcion had been proposing a similar scheme called Bakuna Bubble where fully vaccinated persons are granted more mobility to help restart the economy.
Despite the adjustments, he remained optimistic that these restrictions are only temporary, especially since 42 million Filipinos are already vaccinated.
“We are hopeful that the new lockdown system will bring about successes such as economic recovery, bringing down the cases of infection, and preventing unemployment,” Concepcion said.