DOWNGRADING Cebu City’s quarantine status to general community status (GCQ) by the end of the month would be an opportunity for companies to regain the customers they lost during the pandemic, an official of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA)-Cebu Chapter said.
PRA Cebu Chapter spokesperson Robert Go said micro, small and medium retailers need to quickly recover from the economic slump caused by the government-mandated lockdown which has been ongoing since the latter part of March.
“Secretary Roy Cimatu’s promise that Cebu City will be in GCQ by end of month is a welcome development since more retailers would now be able to open their business and operate. Hopefully, there would be public transportation running, so employees can come to work,” he said.
Go hoped that employees who were stuck at home due to the lockdown in Cebu City would be able to report to their workplaces in Mandaue, Talisay and other places.
“Employees are clamoring for work since they are out of funds, and they have to feed their families. Many of the PRA members are micro, small and medium enterprises, and they need to cope. Many wanted to open their stores but there are also a lot who are afraid that no customer will buy,” he noted.
Shift to other type of business
Go said some players are already thinking of shifting their businesses to what is essential and in demand by the current market to earn an income.
“Many are thinking of shifting their line of business and pondering what new business to go into. Those who have retail stores outside Cebu have tried opening in Lapu-Lapu or in Mandaue cities. Some who can still sustain some sales are waiting for GCQ to open in Cebu City,” he said.
Go said some retail players opened stores outside Cebu City but with very few customers, they are not enthusiastic to continue operating.
“It depends on the category and it depends on the brand too. Some restaurants are pessimistic but some wanted to open. Let us see, come GCQ and we can try opening,” he said, adding that “most retailers are waiting to open and preparing for the expected GCQ.”
Earlier, Cimatu said he will recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to place Cebu City under GCQ starting on Aug. 1.
He also ordered the implementation of granular lockdowns in sitios of barangays with high cases of Covid-19.
These barangays are Lahug, Guadalupe, Capitol Site, Talamban, Kamputhaw, Mabolo, Poblacion Pardo, Tisa, Sambag 1, Apas, Labangon, Basak Pardo, Cogon Ramos, Punta Princesa, Sambag 2, Quiot, Zapatera, Banilad, Hipodromo, Basak San Nicolas, and Cogon Pardo.
Under a GCQ status, public movement and transportation are less restrictive, and several non-essential businesses will be allowed to reopen to the public. (JOB)