The Department of Trade and Industry issued a memorandum circular allowing several business establishments in areas under modified general community quarantine status to operate at 100-percent capacity this month.
Memorandum Circular No. 20-57 also increased the allowable operational capacity of several business establishments in areas under GCQ, including Metro Manila, to 75 percent effective Nov. 1.
Among these establishments are testing, tutorial and review centers; gyms, fitness centers and sports facilities (limited to individual and non-contact sports/activities); Internet cafes (subject further to the applicable local government rules and regulations); dermatological clinics offering aesthetic procedures; other personal care services including full body massage; pet grooming services; drive-in cinemas; and travel agencies, tour operators, reservation service and related activities.
The DTI said the increase in the allowable operational capacity of these business establishments or activities will be decided upon their compliance with the minimum public health and safety standards and protocols and their strict implementation of the so-called “7 Commandments”.
These seven protocols include wearing proper face masks and shields; no talking and no eating especially while in transit via public transportation and similar setting like confined areas and crowded places; adequate ventilation that include use of exhaust systems, air purifiers or keeping windows partially open; frequent and proper disinfection; isolation of symptomatic or COVID-19 positives ; and appropriate physical distancing.
It said that to prevent further transmission of COVID-19, business owners of these establishments should implement additional control measures.
The DTI said the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau and Regional or Provincial Offices would continue strict compliance monitoring through post-audit mechanism.
The Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health and local government units’ health offices may also conduct unannounced inspection, anytime.
Meanwhile, Management Association of the Philippines president Francis Lim lauded the DTI for the strict enforcement of the so-called “7 Commandments”.
“We commend the Department of Trade and Industry for easing the control measures in malls and other commercial centers, and expanding the group of people to ages 15 to 65 years who can now go out of their residences to help stimulate the economy. We are especially gladdened that the DTI has adopted the recommendation of the private sector to put in place the Seven Commandments for health and safety standards and protocols,“ Lim said in a statement Sunday.
He said the initiative is a concrete response to the clamor that the government should balance the needs of COVID-19 with the economy, particularly in the National Capital Region.
“It is a bold step intended to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on our economy, which is estimated to lose P6 Billion daily even with the easing of community quarantine for most parts of the country,” said Lim.
MAP called on the people to strictly observe the 7 Commandments which are deemed essential in regaining public confidence and to contain COVID-19.