Restaurants and eateries in the city of Manila are now allowed to open their dining services on the condition that only 30 percent of their capacity would be allowed to dine in.
Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso made the announcement Monday, citing the Department of Trade and Industry’s go-signal on the matter.
Domagoso reminded business owners that while dine-in is already allowed in the city, everyone should stay alert and always bear in mind that the coronavirus is still around.
“Itong ating mga may-ari ng restaurant, ng karinderya, susunod po tayo ha. Dati nga delivery lang, bukas tayo. O ngayon naman, medyo lumuluwag na ng kaunti pero may konting disiplina (To our restaurant owners, please follow the directive. Before, only deliveries were allowed. Now that we are slowly easing up, we need to have discipline),” he said.
Meanwhile, to ramp up efforts to contain the spread of the virus, Domagoso launched a livelihood center where the city hired 100 sewers and 20 master cutters.
The target, he said, is to be able to produce one million washable face masks to be given away for free to Manila residents.
Prioritized in the distribution would be those who hold the quarantine passes.
“Natutuwa po ako kasi kahit papano may hanap-buhay sila. Merong 680,000 ang may hawak na quarantine pass, ang ipapagawa po natin isang milyon. So most likely, halos lahat mabibigyan. Hindi lahat, pero sigurado yung mga may hawak na quarantine pass, siguradong mabibigyan (I am happy that at least we can provide jobs for these people. About 680,000 have quarantine passes and we will be making one million. So most likely, everyone will have face masks),” Domagoso said.
The wearing of face masks is now part of the new normal, and at least, money that will be used to buy such medical supplies could be used for other more essential things, he said, adding that the budget used for the project came from donations from different companies and individuals.
Pedicab for the ‘new normal’
To help those in the transport sector, which has been badly affected by the pandemic, Domagoso met with the leaders of the Balut PODA (Pedicab Operators and Drivers Association) Rodriguez Line and presented to them a new pedicab that could be used under the “new normal”.
“Nakipagpulong na ko sa mga sidecar boys, kasi magpa-pilot tayo ng lugar. Wala halos tosgas yung mga sidecar boy, tapos yung bulok na sidecar nila, mawawala na yun dahil magkakaron na sila ng bago – mas matibay, mas malinis, mas mainam. Bagay sa coronavirus, hindi lang isang pasahero, pwedeng magsakay ng tatlo, dalawa, kasi me design siyang may dibisyon na para hindi magtabi yung driver at yung pasahero (I already met with drivers because we intend to have a pilot test. This is almost free and they can get rid of their old pedicabs and get a new, sturdy, clean, and better one which is suitable during these times. They can take not only one, but up to three passengers, It has a division that separates the driver from the passengers),” he said.
During the consultation, Domagoso said he told pedicab drivers that the down payment for these new vehicles would only be PHP1, while the daily payment is at PHP188 for three to five years.
He called it the “corona edition” pedicab, as its dividers promote physical distancing. It can take up to three passengers at a time.
“Ilalaban ko ito ng magandang presyo. Piso lang ang down, tapos ‘yung hinuhulog mo, ‘yun ‘yung boundary mo. In three to five years, sa ‘yo na ito (They will have this for a good price. Only PHP1 for the down [payment], and then your daily payment is also your boundary. After three to five years, it is yours),” Domagoso said.
The city government is planning to have an initial 2,000 units for registered PODA in Manila.
This will come with a cellphone unit for each “taxicycle” as the city is studying to adopt a cashless mode of payment for the pedicabs.
“Ako bilang dating sidecar boy, kung mabibigyan ako ng pagkakataon ng gobyerno ng ganyan, bakit naman hindi (As a former pedicab driver, if I would be given this opportunity by the government, why not?),” Domagoso said. (PNA)
Photo Source: Manila PIO