Lopez: New IATF rules to bring 300K people back to work
If business establishments will decide to reopen despite the odds and limitations, about 300,000 workers will be able to return to work this month, following the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) decision to allow dine-in restaurants and other businesses to reopen on limited scale.
But Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a radio interview on Friday there was still a chance that employers would decide not to reopen at all because of the current market conditions. But in this case, he said they were given the option to make the call.
“In our calculation, maybe it would be around 300,000 [workers],” Lopez said in the interview when asked how many of the workers that were dislocated due to the lockdown could get their jobs back with the said IATF decision.
COVID-19 infections surged in areas where more people go after certain quarantine restrictions were eased in the first few months of the year.
The surge prompted the government to reimpose in late March to mid-April the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces, which was later eased to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
The administration recently extended the MECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, among other areas, until May 14. This time, however, dine-in restaurants and other establishments were allowed to reopen subject to certain limitations.
The task force allowed restaurants to have dine-in operations at 10-percent capacity, while barbershops and salons are allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity.