Muntinlupa City Rep. Ruffy Biazon suggested that the proposed reopening of businesses should be done in a localized scheme, depending on which local government units have already started COVID-19 vaccinations.
Biazon made the remarks after Metro Manila mayors expressed reservations on the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to allow the reopening of cinemas and other indoor leisure establishments in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
According to Biazon, the proposed reopening of businesses “should be staggered and based on which LGUs have already implemented their respective COVID-19 vaccine plans.”
“This way, we can ensure that the patrons going to these businesses will not be at risk for infection to the coronavirus and become unknowing vectors,” said Biazon.
Biazon stressed as the national government identify sectors in the economy to open up, “the reopening should be tied in with a vaccination plan for that sector.”
“This will help boost not just immunity, but more importantly, the confidence of consumers to actually patronize those businesses,” said.
The Muntinlupa solon warned that opening businesses without a confidence-building measure—the vaccination program—may not be enough to sustain the overhead cost, as well as lead into another surge of infections.
Biazon earlier questioned if the decision to allow indoor leisure establishments to reopen was part of a masterplan showing which businesses to reallow to operate under specified circumstances or time frame, or if the IATF’s decision was just made on the spot.
The IATF’s Resolution No. 99 issued on February 11 allowed the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas, including Metro Manila, starting February 15, subject to guidelines from the Department of Health and local government units (LGUs).
Cinemas in GCQ areas were allowed to reopen at 50% capacity while those in modified GCQ would be allowed to operate at 75%.
The Metro Manila Council, composed of mayors in Metro Manila and presided by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), recently deferred the reopening of cinemas amid the surge of COVID-19 infections in the National Capital Region (NCR). (CMC)