The Philippine economy cannot afford to face another round of a massive lockdown where most businesses will be closed, said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez.
During a briefing last Thursday, Lopez stood by what he mentioned before, “we cannot bear another massive lockdown, unless the situation ay talagang bumubulusok na surge (is an accelerating surge).”
The trade secretary recalled that the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and its four nearby provinces last late March to mid-April resulted in P30 billion (approximately US$ 579million) in lost wages. He added that many micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) had closed down during that period.
A repeat of this situation, according to the DTI chief, will result in the closure of an estimated 16% of establishments from the current 8% to 10%. A total of 1.8 million workers will be affected by this.
Last Tuesday, the OCTA Research group recommended a two-week lockdown in the National Capital Region (NCR) as almost 1,000 cases are recorded daily amid the threat of the Delta variant.