New Alert Level System To Bring Back Around 200,000 Jobs – DTI
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the reopening of labor-intensive sectors even at limited capacity could generate at least P180 million revenues a week.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Tuesday, Sept. 14, he expects the pilot implementation of the COVID-19 alert level system in Metro Manila starting Thursday, Sept. 16, to bring back about 200,000 jobs and P180 million in revenues a week.
Lopez made these projections as the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management Against Emerging Infectious Diseases allowed restaurants and personal services such as barbershops, hair spas, and beauty salons to operate at 30% capacity.
“So, it’s really focused on these labor-intensive jobs, that’s the reason why we prioritized necessary basic services,” he said at a press briefing.
Lopez stressed more than two million people are working in the local restaurant industry, almost half of them are in Metro Manila.
“And if you look at their operations, the outdoor al fresco only accounts for about 10% and indoor (dine-in), 90%. Now, since outdoor dine-in was allowed at 30%, 30% of 10% is three percent. In the case of indoor, it is open at 10%; 10% of 90% is 9%, so three plus nine is 12% of business,” Lopez explained.
“Now, you apply that in terms of revenue per week, the revenue per week of SME (small medium enterprises) is P1.5 billion…So, applying 12% of that, around P180 million per week hopefully will return. Not much, but at least some may restart in these sectors,” he said.
Metro Manila will be under Alert Level 4 – the second highest of the five-level alert system – starting Thursday, Sept. 16.
Alert Level 4 refers to areas wherein case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate are high.
While some establishments have permanently closed, Lopez noted that many entrepreneurs have turned to “pandemic-proof” businesses to survive.
“So they venture into businesses which are not prohibited and have growth, like e-commerce, delivery service, everything that can be sold online,” he said.
“During this time we must ramp-up active case finding, conduct risk-based testing using RT-PCR, and fast track vaccination among high-risk groups,” she said.
Intensified granular lockdowns
According to the Department of Health (DOH), there will be intensified granular lockdowns from barangay down to the household level to contain COVID-19 transmission under the new government strategy against COVID-19.
“We also call on everyone to continuously observe the minimum public health standards and consciously avoid these 3Cs that pose higher risk of COVID-19 transmission when all are present in your activities,” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosaro Vergeire said.
The 3Cs pertain to “crowded places and closed-contact settings where physical distancing may not be observed and people have face-to-face interaction, and closed spaces with poor ventilation,” Vergeire added.
Vergeire said Metro Manila is under Alert Level 4 as it is currently at high-risk case classification along with the intensive care utilization.
“NCR is currently at high-risk case classification as it maintains a moderate risk two-week growth rate (TWGR) and high-risk average daily attack rate (ADAR),” she noted.
Vergeire said the capital region’s ADAR had increased from 30.44 in the previous weeks to 39.09 per 100,000 population in recent weeks.
Aside from this, the NCR has a high-risk intensive care utilization rate at 77.5% while bed utilization is near high-risk classification at 69.5%.
Areas under Alert Level 4, the second highest alert level, show high and increasing case counts with total COVID-19 bed and intensive care beds at increasing utilization rates. – With Emmanuel Tupas