Neda chief bats for ‘calibrated’ opening of malls
MANILA, Philippines — As the end of the Luzon-wide lockdown draws near, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia on Thursday said he is in favor of a calibrated or 50 percent opening of shopping malls.
But Pernia underscored the need to maintain safeguards against the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“Parang calibrated opening of malls and other areas where we can still have the necessary safeguard against contracting the disease,” Pernia said in an interview over dzMM.
“Siguro partial also, siguro. For example, SM is really suffering from the closure of malls. They have so many, with 100,000 employees yata so I think siguro 50 percent opening, ganun,” he further said.
Pernia suggested that companies arrange shuttle services for their employees to practice physical distancing.
“Siguro yung physical distancing can be better achieved yung mga big companies that have workers, may mga shuttle buses silang sarili para mabawasan yung public commuting,” he said.
(Physical distancing can be better achieved if the big companies will provide shuttle buses for their workers so that the public commuting will be reduced.)
Apart from malls, Pernia said other businesses that deal with personal needs may open like haircut salons and laundry shops.
“There are other needs of people like haircuts, wala nang mga haircuts ang mga tao ngayon e. Yung mga ganun ba, mga personal needs, personal maintenance,” Pernia said.
(There are other needs of people like haircuts. People have no haircuts nowadays. Things like that, personal needs, personal maintenance.)
“Laundry, mga house cleaning, maraming mga kailangan na hindi talaga vitally necessary but kailangan din for more comfortable living,” he added.
(Laundry, house cleaning, there are many needs which may not be vitally necessary but essential for comfortable living.)
Pernia earlier said he will propose a “modified lockdown” in Luzon which will ease restrictions in “transportation, the opening of retail shops,” among others.
Preparing for the “new normal” to keep the economy afloat is also being done as the government grapples to contain COVID-19, Pernia said.
The Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is expected to be in effect until April 30.
The Philippines as of Wednesday confirmed 5,4523 cases of the coronavirus disease with 349 fatalities and 353 recoveries.
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