Metro Manila restos partially reopen; gov’t urges owners to follow health guidelines

As restaurants partially reopen in Metro Manila today, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reminds owners to follow health protocols to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Metro Manila is currently under the general community quarantine, a moderately loose form of lockdown where specific industries have been authorized to operate again. The government has allowed the partial reopening of restaurants to jumpstart the economy, which has shrunk for the first time in two decades because of the pandemic.

Trade Undersecretary Boy Vizmonte said in an exclusive interview with news program Unang Hirit, “For restaurant owners, please be careful [in your operations]. Let’s follow guidelines that the DTI has released so we can avoid the contamination of COVID.”

Vizmonte said customers should also follow the guidelines set by restaurants.

“They should wear face masks. Remember the rules of the restaurant. For example, restaurants can accommodate only 30 percent. So that means if it used to accommodate ten diners, now they will only allow three. Please be careful, follow the guidelines set by the DTI so that we can avoid COVID,” he said in English and Filipino.

The DTI, the Department of Tourism, the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Department of Interior and Local Government will monitor these dining businesses to ensure that they are following guidelines.

“They will have random inspections but not to arrest anyone but to ensure that everything is correct because not only do we want people to be careful, we also want the public to return to their jobs,” Vizmonte explained.

Meanwhile, Vizmonte used the interview as an opportunity to remind online sellers to indicate the price of the products that they are selling. E-commerce boomed in recent months because many Filipinos have resorted to it to make ends meet while on lockdown. Some businessmen do not indicate the price of the goods that they are selling, preferring to haggle with their potential customers through private messages.

A few days ago, the government announced that it plans to impose taxes on such small businesses, a move widely criticized by online entrepreneurs.

“For our online sellers, you have to ensure that whatever you are selling has a clear price tag. This is what the Price Tag Law says. Ensure that the quality of the products that you are selling is good. That’s important,” the undersecretary said.



This article, Metro Manila restos partially reopen; gov’t urges owners to follow health guidelines, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!