Abalos favors opening up more businesses in NCR by June
MANILA, Philippines — The chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is in favor of opening up more businesses in the National Capital Region (NCR) by June, when the general community quarantine with heightened restrictions would have lapsed.
MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos noted on Wednesday that the COVID-19 data, hospital capacity, and the business sector are improving as compared to when active cases surged in March and April.
“So for me personally, I think we can open up more businesses and study the capacity itself. Because right now we are in GCQ with heightened restrictions. Probably baka pwede mas luwagan pa natin (Maybe we can relax restrictions) in terms of capacity,” he told ABS-CBN News Channel.
Under GCQ with heightened restrictions, indoor dine-in services are allowed at 20 percent venue or seating capacity, while outdoor or al fresco dining is allowed at 50 percent capacity.
Outdoor tourist attractions were allowed to reopen, but only at 30 percent capacity. Meanwhile, personal care services that do not require removal of face masks like salons, parlors, and beauty clinics were allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity.
However, still barred from reopening under GCQ with heightened restrictions are certain establishments involved in leisure, including entertainment and recreational venues, amusement parks, indoor sports courts and indoor tourist attractions.
Abalos said the MMDA and mayors of Metro Manila are set to hold a meeting this evening. He said he will ask the mayors if the curfew hours, currently from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., should be changed by next month.
“I will ask the mayors, ‘do you think we can raise it to 12:00 or stay at 10:00?’ The mayors will decide on this,” he added.
Abalos noted that businesses can adjust their operating hours if the curfew will be shortened.
However, he also reminded the public that the decisions of the Metro Manila Council, composed of NCR mayors, on quarantine levels are only recommendations to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
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