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Philippines to lose P200M due to NCR's shift back to Alert Level 3 —Lopez

The Philippines is set to lose some P200 million and as much as 200,000 jobs due to Metro Manila's shift back to Alert Level 3, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Monday.

According to Lopez, the country is set to lose the same amount it gained when Metro Manila shifted to the more relaxed Alert Level 2, the second lowest in the alert level system.

“Ang pinakaimportante dito ay mailagay na natin dito ‘yung ating bansa sa posibleng biglang pagdami ng Omicron cases,” he said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing.

“Dahil nakita natin, ito talagang lumala sa bansa tulad ng US, United Kingdom, at iba pang European countries nang maiwasan natin ‘yung pag-overwhelm sa ating hospital,” he added.

(The most important thing is we prevent the surge of Omicron cases in the country. We saw this in other countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and other European countries, and we need to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.)

This comes as the National Capital Region returned to Alert 3 starting Monday, January 3, which will last until January 15, 2022, following the steep increase in new COVID-19 infections in the country.

The Philippines on Sunday recorded 4,600 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s active case tally to 21,418. The total caseload now stands at 2.851 million which includes 2.778 million recoveries, and 51,570 deaths.

Under the Alert Level 3, unvaccinated residents of Metro Manila would be banned from leaving their homes unless for essential purposes such as buying and accessing primary goods.

Lopez reminded food establishments to ensure that indoor dining should only be for vaccinated individuals, and diners should present their vaccination cards as proof of having received their jabs.

He also called on the public to report any businesses that violate the prevailing health protocols. —KBK, GMA News