‘Safe spaces’ proposed for soft re-opening of businesses

    As many banks hold back on lending given the economic outlook, says Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion, the private sector presents a game plan that would help in achieving a merry Christmas this year.
    “Money is an issue because many of the banks have held back on lending until they see a picture of the economy as to when we will recover,” says Go Negosyo founder Concepcion.
    “The situation is that you can’t do much when the economy or the business is in an open-close mode. In order to get out of this rut, “the only solution is to solve the health problem,” he says.

    MANILA — The private sector, working closely with the Government’s medical advisors has conceived a plan aimed at supporting a cautious reopening of the economic sectors by accelerating the rollout of the Government’s national vaccination program.

    Included in the plan is to seek the Government’s approval in opening ‘safe spaces’ that cater to the increasing number of fully vaccinated Filipinos against COVID-19 to prompt increased economic activity.

    As these spaces are limited to fully vaccinated individuals, establishments like hotels and restaurants across the country could serve more customers without compromising safety protocols. It may be recalled that workers in tourism-related industries have been granted early vaccination, as they are part of the economic frontliners.

    By allowing these establishments to add more seats or serve beyond the current limits imposed under the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) rules, the hospitality industry will be able to bring in additional revenues. This sector has been suffering greatly from the quarantine restrictions imposed to stop the spread of COVID-19, Concepcion explains.

    The same principle can be applied to other establishments that have remained closed because of COVID-19 fears, including cinemas, bars and even concert or theater halls as the Government calibrates for their reopening, he points out.

    “Our plans hinge basically on the ability of both the private and public sectors, especially local government units, to inoculate as fast as possible, achieve population protection, and possibly the ultimate goal of herd immunity for NCR Plus this year,” says Concepcion.

    “We have to win this battle. We cannot fail because of the Delta variants … we have to be really vigilant and do what must be done to keep that at bay.

    “In the end, we want to save both lives and livelihood and I’m confident that if we do things right, we have a good chance of reviving the economy and opening up the economy much more by the end of this year,” he says. (LO/The MiNT)

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