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DTI wants to scale back business activities due to rising COVID-19 cases in the country

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Mar 18, 2021 9:08 pm Updated Mar 19, 2021 8:27 pm

The Department of Trade and Industry issued a circular Friday for temporary measures in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), including closure of certain business activities and reduction of operational capacity of some establishments, some of which were given the green light by the IATF a month ago.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, who announced Thursday he tested positive for COVID-19 the second time, said in a statement Thursday night that the move was made following calls to scale back some of the recently reopened businesses and industries due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The measures under IATF Resolution No. 103, which will be in place until April 4 include:

  • Temporary suspension of operations of driving schools, traditional cinemas, video and interactive game arcades, libraries, archives, museum and cultural centers, limited social events at accredited establishments of the Department of Tourism, and limited tourist attractions except for open-air tourist attractions.
  • Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) events shall be limited to essential business gatherings at 30 percent venue capacity.
  • Religious gatherings shall observe a maximum of 30 percent of the venue capacity, provided that there is no objection from the local government unit where the religious gathering may take place. LGUs also have the discretion to allow venue capacity not higher than 50 percent based in the conditions in their area.
  • Maximum venue capacity for essential business gatherings shall be reduced to 30 percent.
  • Operation capacity of dine-in restaurants and cafes, and personal care services shall be reduced to a maximum of 50 percent.
  • Cockfighting and cockpit operations are suspended, including in areas under modified general community quarantine.

The Philippines faces a rising number of daily COVID-19 infections and projections by experts see the country could hit 8,000 daily cases if the current surge is not controlled.

There are four confirmed new variants in the Philippines, including the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 variant first found in the United Kingdom, South African variant (B.1.351), Brazil variant (P.1) and the Philippine variant (P.3).

On Friday, the Philippines logged 7,103 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day increase since the pandemic started over a year ago. This brings the country’s total number of confirmed cases to 648,066.