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Resto owners group welcomes Alert Level 4 status in NCR

The Restaurant Owners of the Philippines (Resto Ph) on Tuesday lauded the government's decision to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under Alert Level 4 beginning September 16.

The alert level will allow outdoor and dine-in restaurants to operate albeit at a limited capacity.

“We are grateful for the new guidelines which allows some indoor dining capacity for vaccinated guests with vaccinated workers, together with 30% outdoor dining for all,” Resto Ph president Eric Teng said in a statement.

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.

“While We believe that during these times, where it's necessary for the restrictions to be in place for public safety, we should be able to balance health concerns with a slow, and responsible reopening of our industry,” Teng said.

The announcement to place NCR under Alert Level 4 came days after the 17 mayors of Metro Manila called on the national government to relax the COVID-19 restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals in the capital region. 

Likewise, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez has proposed to allow fully-vaccinated individuals in prohibited activities such as dine-in and personal care services, which are banned under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ. 

Presidential adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion is also pushing for the implementation of “bakuna bubbles” in Metro Manila areas with high vaccination rates.

The solution has been proposed to enable the economy to safely reopen while the rest of the population is inoculated.

“We express our sincere gratitude to Sec Ramon Lopez of DTI, and other Cabinet secretaries and Government agencies, as well as our Metro Manila mayors and MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, for allowing our voices to be heard, and our grievances redressed,” Teng said.

“We must work together and help one another to survive our current situation, and slowly move forward to as normal a life as possible for everyone,” he said. —KBK, GMA News