DTI suggests adjusting business operating capacity ahead of MGCQ declaration

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 2) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the maximum operating capacity allowed for businesses may be adjusted ahead of the imposition of the less stricter modified general community quarantine on areas like Metro Manila, the country's main economic hub.

"Even without moving to MGCQ ay meron naman tayong pwedeng gawing paraan na para mapaaga lang yung pag-increase ng operating capacity na allowed," Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the Laging Handa virtual briefing on Thursday.

[Translation: We can do something to increase the allowed operating capacity (for businesses) ahead of moving to MGCQ.]

"For example, yung 30 percent ay titignan ho natin kung pwedeng ma-increase na ito to 40 or 50 percent," he said.

[Translation : For example, we can look into increasing the 30 percent (allowed operating capacity) to 40 or 50 percent.]

Lopez said this may be one of the options in case existing community quarantine levels will be in effect for a longer period of time. For instance, the general community quarantine (GCQ) status of Metro Manila has just been extended, he noted.

The DTI chief further explained that 95 percent of the country's business sectors had already been reopened even under GCQ, including dine-in restaurants and barbershops and salons albeit under limited operational capacity.

"If you remember last month, nag-umpisa nang mag-operate itong mga sector na 'to considering po that let's say for barbershops / salons, they account for about 400,000 workers; yung restaurants, 1.7 million workers," explained Lopez. Given this, it's important they are allowed to open earlier, which is why the government gave them the go signal to operate under GCQ, he added.

[Translation: If you remember last month, these sectors started operating again, considering barbershops (and) salons account for 400,000 workers while restaurants (account for) 1.7 million.]

With this, the Inter-Agency Task Force is also looking into the request of barbershops and salons to allow them to offer services other than haircuts provided the customer turnover is just as fast, added Lopez.

Aside from the capital region, Benguet, Cavite, Rizal, Lapu-Lapu City, Leyte, Ormoc and Southern Leyte have been placed under GCQ along with Talisay City, Minglanilla, and Consolacion of Cebu province until July 15.

The rest of the country has been placed under MGCQ until mid-July.