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MECQ hopefully for 2 weeks only — DTI chief

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 09:32 AM August 07, 2020

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez. (File photo by YANCY LIM / Presidential Photographers Division)

MANILA, Philippines — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday expressed hope that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) imposed in Metro Manila will only be for two weeks so as not to further affect small businesses.

Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Bulacan and Laguna were placed under MECQ until August 18 after medical frontliners appealed for a “timeout” as COVID-19 cases continued to spike.

“Just like the ECQ, this will have a drastic impact, significant impact. However, we have to bite the bullet, sabi nga,” Lopez said in an interview on ANC.

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“But I’m hoping that this will just be two weeks. So ganun naman e, as we try to manage the virus and live with it and we open safely, pag may mga problema, we can step back a bit and then pursue again, try to open gradually and safely,” he went on.

Lopez said that out of the 1.5 million registered micro, small and medium enterprises, more than half of them or 52 percent are partially operating while 22 percent are fully operating amid the COVID-19 health crisis.

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“About 26 percent are not operating, but we don’t know if they are permanently closed or temporarily closed,” Lopez added.

Several businesses , such as fitness gyms and  studios, personal care services like barbershops and salons had to cease operations anew after stricter lockdown measures were reimposed in affected areas.

As of August 6, the Philippines recorded 119,460 COVID-19 cases with 2,150 deaths and 66,837 recoveries. #

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TAGS: Department of Trade and Industry, DTI, MECQ, modified enhanced community quarantine, Ramon Lopez
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