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Small businesses saddened by return of Alert Level 3 in NCR

The looming reintroduction of some restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) to curb the spread of COVID-19 has saddened several small businesses.

According to Vonne Aquino’s "24 Oras Weekend" report on Saturday, owners and operators of several establishments, including salons and funfairs or "peryahan," appealed for help as their businesses will be affected under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15.

“Marami sa aming tauhan ang mawawalan ng hanapbuhay po ulit. Sana po huwag matuloy yung lockdown kasi malaking kawalan po sa amin. Pero kung yung lockdown po yung paraan para matigil yung COVID-19, para maaga pa lang masolusyunan, okay lang po sa amin,” Marty Cordero, operations manager of a peryahan in Libertad, Pasay City, said.

(Many of our staff will lose their jobs again. I hope the lockdown will not continue because it will affect our livelihood. However, if the lockdown is the only way to stop the transmission of COVID-19, it is okay with us.)

Michelle Lorenzo, owner of Juan Stop Salon, expressed disappointment with the return of the Alert Level 3 in NCR, as they were just beginning to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Ang mga salon nalulugi, so hindi tayo nakakabawi sa expenses sa rental at sahod ng tao. Kung sana nabibigyan nila ng aksyon na magkaroon ng konting diskwento yung mga nagrerental,” Lorenzo appealed.

(Salons were losing income, so we could not recover from the expenses, including rental and employees’ wages. If only they could give us a little discount on the rent.)

Under Alert Level 3, several establishments will be allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity only for fully vaccinated individuals and 50% outdoor venue capacity, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated.

Face-to-face classes, contact sports, funfairs or peryahan, and casinos are among the activities and establishments that are prohibited under Alert Level 3.

Work at government offices is limited to 60% of their onsite capacity.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said that the highly transmissible Omicron variant may already be responsible for the sharp rise in COVID-19 cases in the Philippines.

The Philippines on Saturday recorded 3,617 new COVID-19 infections at the start of the New Year.  — Richa Noriega/VBL, GMA News