Concepcion urges gov't to lower alert level in NCR
With three days to go before authorities decide to lift Alert Level Four in the National Capital Region (NCR), Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion appealed for the government to the lower alert level to allow businesses to recover.
''Now is time to open the economy,'' Concepcion told the virtual ''Laging Handa'' public briefing Tuesday, pointing out that 77 percent of the population are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday new COVID-19 cases are going down in the NCR, along with the reproduction rate. However, he added that the positivity rate remains high.
''We have to open the economy because this is the last quarter. This is the time when businessmen can get back what they lost in the last few months,'' he said.
Concepcion said businessmen have to pay their employees' 13th month pay, pay bank loans and suppliers.
''Let us be aggressive (but) let us be vigilant, '' he added.
He said only the vaccinated indiividuals should be allowed ''greater mobility''. Concecpion added that unvaccinated can go out but in ''high risk areas such as restautants, they have to be vaccinated.''
Concepcion said as the country heads to 2022, business activity has to pick up. He pointed out that ''even government needs cash flows from our employees and enterpreneurs.''
The government needs cash to buy vaccines, test kits, he said.
''They have to open the economy and now is the time,'' said Concepcion, adding that not all of the 23 percent unvaccinated will land in the hospitals.
At the current capacity of 30 percent, businesses don't earn anything. If it allowed to increase activities to 50 percent, they can earn some money, said Concepcion.
''By November, December, they should open and go to 70 percent capacity,'' he said. '' At least, they will be able to earn enough to pay their obligations and hopefully carry them forward until 2022.'' DMS