The country’s largest business organization, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), wants the government to allow the full resumption of businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a statement yesterday, the PCCI said it believes that full resumption of businesses while preventing the spread of the virus is possible as what countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and European countries have done.
PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico said these countries have sustained fully opened economies while maintaining health protocols like physical distancing and implementing widespread testing, contact tracing, and lockdown on specific communities.
“You cannot open a business and limit it to only 30 to 50 percent because they will only lose money and would rather close; you cannot tell a restaurant to open 50 percent because 50 percent is not enough to pay the rent, utilities and employees; you cannot tell a manufacturing company to operate at below capacity and still require it to provide accommodation and/or shuttle services for its workers; and you cannot open businesses, even at phases, without allowing public transportation,” Yujuico said.
He added many of the PCCI members have reported shutting down their operations.
“Business closures mean drop in taxes and budgetary income, putting at risk the sustainability of public finances and the ability to fund public services, including health and education,” he added.
Yujuico underscored the need to ease lockdowns and the full resumption of businesses for economic recovery while ensuring that health standards are in place.
The PCCI said prolonging the lockdowns could harm the country’s long-term economic future, while people are losing their jobs and families are out of money to spend for their basic needs.*PNA