Labor-intensive sectors such as restaurants, salons, and barbershops are expected to recover almost P200 million in revenues per week once the National Capital Region (NCR) shifts to Alert Level 4 status starting September 16, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Tuesday.
Under Alert Level 4, outdoor or al fresco dining services in restaurants and eateries will operate at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status.
On the other hand, indoor dining or dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor or al fresco capacity.
The same capacity limitations apply to personal care services such as beauty salons and barbershops.
During a televised Palace briefing, Lopez said the decision to allow restaurants and personal care services to operate, albeit at limited capacity, is in consideration of the number of workers who have been affected by the prolonged strict quarantine measures in Metro Manila.
The Trade chief said that there are about 2.4 million workers in the restaurants and personal care industries, half of which are in Metro Manila.
“Ang revenue per week po sa estimate po ng mga industriya P1.5 billion per week. Applying 12% of that mga P180 million per week ang hopefully maibalik, not much but at least meron na pong makapag-restart on this sectors,” Lopez said.
[The estimated revenue per week of the said industries is P1.5 billion. Applying 12% of that, around P180 million per week is expected to be recovered hopefully, not much but at least these sectors can restart.]
"That is really why we prioritized gradual reopening of labor-intensive industries," Lopez added.
He explained that 90% of restaurants’ and personal care services’ capacity are indoors while only 10% are outdoors.
“Since in the outdoors what we allow is 30%, so you apply 10% of 30% that's 3%. For indoor 10% [allowed], if you apply 10% of 90% that is 9% so a total of 12% of business is allowed,” Lopez said.
The Trade chief added that around 150,000 to 200,000 workers are expected to return once the Alert Level 4 status in NCR takes effect.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that this is good news for many Filipinos.
"Mabuting balita po ito kasi makakapagtrabaho na po ang karamihan sa atin [This is good news since there are more people who will be returning to work due to this policy]," he said. "This is a chance to earn a living again."
Lopez stressed the importance of vaccination as the economy opens more. "The only way we can move forward is to carefully reopen, that is why indoors are limited to fully vaccinated. The promise of the vaccines is that we will be protected against severe or critical COVID-19 infection. We believe in the vaccine, we should believe in the vaccinated," he said.
Apart from restaurants and personal care services, the government allowed religious gatherings at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status.
Meanwhile, only 10% venue/seating capacity can be accommodated indoors as long as they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Those who are not allowed outside their residences under Alert Level 4 are:
- persons below 18 years old,
- those who are over 65 years of age,
- those with immunodeficiencies, comorbidities, or other health risks,
- pregnant women
These individuals will only be allowed to go out to access or obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices. — BM, GMA News