A lawmaker at the House of Representatives on Thursday called on the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to synchronize the opening of sectors in the economy with the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccination plan.
Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon said reopening businesses without a confidence-building measure such as a vaccination program might not have enough consumer response to sustain overhead cost, and might lead into another surge of infections.
“We should identify sectors in the economy to open up, and the reopening should be tied in with a vaccination plan for that sector. This will help boost not just immunity, but more importantly, the confidence of consumers to actually patronize those businesses,” Biazon said.
He further noted that the reopening of businesses should also be localized depending on which local government units have already begun Covid-19 vaccinations.
“The reopening of businesses should be staggered and based on which LGUs have already implemented their respective Covid-19 vaccine plans. This way, we can ensure that the patrons going to these businesses will not be at risk for infection to the coronavirus and become unknowing vectors,” he said.
Biazon has questioned whether IATF-EID’s decision to allow indoor leisure establishments to reopen was part of a masterplan showing which businesses to reallow to operate under specified circumstances or time frame, or if it was just made on the spot.
The IATF’s Resolution No. 99 issued on February 11 allowed the reopening of cinemas in GCQ areas, including Metro Manila, starting February 15, subject to guidelines from the Department of Health and local government units (LGUs).
Cinemas in general community quarantine areas (GCQ) were allowed to reopen at 50 percent capacity while those in modified GCQ would be allowed to operate at 75 percent.
Malacañang moved the reopening of cinemas to March 1 to allow for consultations with local officials after Metro Manila mayors said they were not properly consulted on the directive. (PNA)