The government’s task force against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has ordered the reclassification of industries allowed to operate under different quarantine levels, in order to boost business, especially in the two regions that contribute the most to the country’s economy.
According to Palace Spokesperson Harry L. Roque in a statement on Friday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed the “Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in consultation with the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Tourism (DOT), to recategorize certain industries for the resumption of their operations or gradual increase of operating capacity of industries that are now open.”
Mr. Roque added that the move was meant to boost the economies of Metro Manila and Region IV-A (also known as Calabarzon, consisting of the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon).
“These recent actions of the IATF are in compliance with the directive to ensure the increase of the capacities of the business sector vis-à-vis available transportation to revitalize the economy in Metro Manila and Region IV-A,” he said.
Metro Manila and Calabarzon were mentioned by Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez last month as regions that make up 60% to 67% of the country’s economy. Both regions need to go under a modified general community quarantine (MGCQ), the loosest form of quarantine, “as quickly as possible,” he said then.
Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal will remain under a general community quarantine (GCQ) until July 31 while Batangas, Quezon, and Lucena City in Quezon have graduated to MGCQ status.
Based on the IATF-EID’s Resolution No. 56 issued on Friday, the DTI will consult with the DoF, DILG, and DoT on recategorizing industries from Category 4 to Category 3 if needed. A negative list will also be submitted by the DTI which will show which industries will still be prohibited from resuming business.
Category 4 industries are not allowed to operate in areas under a GCQ and the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).These include amusement, fitness, entertainment, education, and children industries. Some Category 3 industries are allowed to resume operations at 50% to 100% capacity during GCQ and ECQ. — Gilliam M. Cortez