NCR resto owners eager to hike allowed dine-in capacity to lessen ‘casualty’
MANILA, Philippines — Restaurant owners in Metro Manila are eagerly waiting for the further easing of pandemic restrictions which will allow them to increase their dine-in capacity and cut losses.
Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4, which allows alfresco dining in restaurants and eateries at 30 percent venue capacity. Meanwhile, indoor dining is allowed at 10 percent capacity and may only serve persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Eric Teng, the president of the Restaurant Owners of the Philippines, said the industry wants to increase its capacity to allow more of its employees to go back to work. They are eager that Metro Manila be placed under Alert Level 3, where dine-in services will be allowed at 20%.
However, restaurant owners also recognize that the reopening of industries must be done slowly to lessen the risk of COVID-19 transmission and that they are currently satisfied with the 10% allowed capacity than none at all.
“Matutuwa kami kung pwede na maiakyat sa 20% for Alert Level 3. Ang hinahabol namin ay maibalik ang kabuhayan ng aming mga empleyado dahil kawawa sila wala silang ayuda mula noong naglockdown,” he said in a televised public briefing.
(We will be happy if the government could increase the capacity to 20% under Alert Level 3. What we are aiming for is to get back the livelihood of our employees because they did not receive aid during the lockdown.)
“Kaya humihingi kami ng pag-uunawa sa public. Sana naman since karamihan ng staff namin ay bakunado na, hinihiling kami na pagbigyan sila na makapagtrabaho na uli,” he added.
Teng admitted that the restaurant industry has suffered huge losses due to the pandemic as restaurants are usually the first to be shut down when there are surges of COVID-19 cases and it would be long before the industry could fully recover.
Restaurant owners however wish that they would be allowed to increase their operating capacities “as soon as possible and as safe as possible” for them to be able to cut their “casualties.”
“Inaasahan namin na temporary na nagsara ay hindi naman sana tuluyan na maging permanent closure kaya kailangan namin talaga as soon as possible and as safe as possible na i-allow kami ng extra capacity para mabawasan namin ‘yung casualty namin sa restaurant industry,” Teng said.
(We are expecting that those who temporarily closed their operations will not be permanently closed so that’s why we are asking to be allowed extra capacity as soon as possible and as safe as possible to lessen the casualty in the restaurant industry.)
Teng said about 90% of restaurant staffers are already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 but he admitted that there are employees that still don’t have a vaccine due to scarcity of supply in their area.
“Gusto ng karamihan makapagbukas na ay bakunado ang staff pero ‘yung ibang lugar talagang may mga empleyado sa mga barangay nila nagihirapan sila makakuha ng vaccine. Karamihan sa restaurant owners and employees gusto magpabakuna,” he added.
(Many of those who want to open their services are already vaccinated but in some places, there are establishments that have employees who are having difficulties in securing vaccines. Many of the restaurant owners and employees want to be vaccinated already.)
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