PCCI welcome to join in IATF meetings, says Palace
Any group, such as the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, is welcome to participate in any of the meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, Malacanang said on Friday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after the PCCI urged the government to consult also the private sector before coming up with policy recommendations to President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the quarantine classifications and on economic activities.
"Officials of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) can therefore serve as resource persons on matters related to trade, business and the economy in the same way that IATF has invited health experts from different medical associations to give their inputs related to their field of expertise," he said in a statement.
Currently, Roque noted that the economic team, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and National Economic and Development Authority, is part of the IATF.
He said those departments, usually represented by their respective secretaries, regularly join the task force meetings "so the concerns of the business sector are forwarded and discussed."
PCCI president Benedicto Yujuico, citing a resolution of the group's board of directors, said the IATF would be able to use the on-the-ground experience of the business sector to come up with a holistic approach that would make it easier for businesses to resume operations.
He also warned of a more protracted recession if the businesses could not function 100 percent nor even up to 75 percent.
The entire Philippines is under community quarantine. In areas which remain under the general community quarantine, such as Metro Manila, there are still some businesses which could not or only up to 30 to 50 percent operational as part of the measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease. Celerina Monte/DMS