THE ongoing modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) continues to dampen Cebu-based retailers’ outlook for the third and fourth quarters of this year.
Robert Go, president of Prince Retail Group, said some retailers are losing hope for a quick rebound to happen in the last two quarters of this year due to the MECQ restrictions.
Go said the third quarter performance would definitely be lower than the fourth quarter because of the Christmas season. But comparing it with last year, growth might be flat or even lower compared with 2019.
But, he pointed out that 2021 will still be a bit better than last year because some establishments are braving the coronavirus situation to survive by re-opening and doing businesses.
“At least businesses have found ways to do something else like the increase in online and pickup services. The year 2021 is still far from 2019 but a little better than 2020,” he said.
Philippine Retailers Association Cebu Chapter president Chester Lim the downtrend of positive cases in the tri-cities of Cebu and in the province should give retailers a good opportunity to bounce back and slowly recover in the last two quarters.
“The second quarter recovery is encouraging as some sectors like local tourism (tourist attractions and hotels) and retailers (food and non-food) are now operating at positive. This recovery cannot be sustained if the government will again implement lockdowns,” Lim told SunStar Cebu.
He said as of today, authorities are seeing a downtrend of Covid-19 positive cases both in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu and in Cebu province.
Should the downtrend continues and local government units will be able to vaccinate the majority of the Cebuanos, people will start to go out, businesses will open and eventually consumer confidence will further improve.
Lim said the private business sector is now looking at a more sustainable approach through Bakuna Bubble proposed by Presidential Assistant for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.
“This will enable business to jumpstart safely by allowing only the vaccinated individuals to enter business establishments. This will give more mobility. This proposal is now being reviewed by our national and local government,” he said.
But earlier, the Department of Health and the World Health Organization believe it is not yet time for the proposed measure to take off because of the still low vaccine coverage in the country.
The WHO also stressed that the Covid-19 shots are do not ensure people from getting infected by the virus. The shots are meant to protect individuals against the severe form of the disease. (JOB)