'Good chance' dine-in option to be allowed under GCQ—DTI chief | Inquirer News
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‘Good chance’ dine-in option to be allowed under GCQ—DTI chief

/ 05:29 PM May 21, 2020
philippines covid-19

A security guard (C) watches as a shopper (L) exits from a disinfection channel installed at the entrance of a shopping mall as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Manila on May 16, 2020. – The Philippine capital’s massive shopping malls began to partially re-open for business on May 16 with many restrictions and few customers as the nation cautiously eases a two-month virus quarantine. (Photo by Ted ALJIBE / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — The government is looking into opening the dine-in option for restaurants and food establishments in areas under the general community quarantine (GCQ), Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez told senators on Thursday.

Lopez said there is a “good chance” that the dine-in option would be allowed under GCQ provided that basic health measures are observed.

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The trade chief raised this possibility after Senator Cynthia Villar suggested that the government allow restaurants to open their services to dine-in customers.

“Naawa ako dun sa mga restaurants. Walang nakain sa restaurants kasi maraming restaurants ‘di sila magaling sa delivery, magaling sila sa sit-in. Can you suggest to the government that i-open yung sit-in kahit 50 percent (capacity)? Para nakapaghanapbuhay,” Villar asked Lopez during a Senate hearing.

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(I feel for the restaurants. Some restaurants don’t have customers because they’re not good at delivery, they’re better at sit-in. Can you suggest to the government to open the sit-in even at 50 percent capacity? So they can make a living.)

“You know, 95 percent of our businesses are small and micro-businesses.  Fifty percent of the small and micro businesses are in food,” she noted.

Lopez agreed with the senator, acknowledging that food establishments earn mostly from dine-in services.

“Napakahalaga ng dine-in, sa ngayon ho nabubuhay po sila sa take-out and deliveries. We were told na about 70 percent ng revenue nanggagaling sa dine-in so napakaimportante ng dine-in,” he added.

(Dine-in is very important. Right now, they’re making a living off take-out and deliveries. We were told that about 70 percent of revenue comes from dine-in so it’s very important.)

According to Lopez, they are in the process of visiting several restaurants as well as fast-food chains to “look into the application of the health protocols.”

“Pagka po tayo ay makukumbinsi na safe kumain at mai-implement yung minimum health protocol. We will propose, we will endorse the opening of dine-in,” the trade chief said.

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(Once we are convinced that it’s safe to eat and that minimum health protocol can be implemented, we will propose, we will endorse the opening of dine-in.)

“Kahit 50 percent, kasi for them to have a social distancing, we can resume a 50-percent capacity…unless malaki yung restaurant that can spread the people,” he said.

(We can resume even just at 50 percent capacity for them to have social distancing. Unless the restaurant is big that can spread the people.)

“Ang outlook po natin, the way forward, is there’s a good chance ma-include po yung dine-in. We just have to review the minimum health protocols to be applied.”

(Our outlook, the way forward, is there’s a good chance we can include dine-in.)

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TAGS: COVID-19, dine-in, GCQ, Nation, News, restaurants, Senate, Senator Cynthia Villar, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
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