The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has denied the requests of the alcohol beverage industry and automotive dealers to allow the reopening of some of their operations as their businesses now struggle with the enhanced community quarantine.
In separate letters, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) does not include the alcohol beverage and automotive industries in the list of sectors providing essential products and services that are allowed to operate during the quarantine period.
“This is mainly due to the urgent need to limit the movement of people to stop the spread of Covid-19, which is the essence of having the ECQ. Thus, if ever there would be exemptions, it must be limited to these very essential products that people cannot live without,” Lopez said in his response to the Philippine Automotive Dealers Association (PADA).
This is also the same reason the trade chief provided to the Center for Alcohol Research and Development Foundation (CARD).
PADA asked DTI to allow its industry to operate on a skeletal workforce basis, specifically for after-sales services.
On the other hand, CARD urged the government to lift the “liquor ban” being implemented during the enhanced community quarantine, and suggested imposing less stringent measures like “partial ban on sale and purchase of alcoholic beverages”.
“The alcohol beverage as an industry provides revenue to the government through the taxation of alcoholic beverages and the provision of labor and employment, which effect, trickles down to the marginalized sectors of the community,” CARD said in its letter to Lopez.
For the lifting of the liquor ban, Lopez said such a policy was decided by local government units (LGUs).
“The alcohol ban was decided by some local government units on their own to prevent social gatherings as people are supposed to stay at home to prevent the spread of Covid-19. LGUs are responsible for the overall welfare of their communities,” Lopez added. (PNA)