DTI participates in arresting Covid case rise


MANILA — In a a unified approach to bust the further spread of Covid-19 cases, Government agencies like the Department of Trade and Industry participates in efforts to step up its by campaign for strict compliance to health protocols by business establishments.

“[We] will also increase further workplace monitoring and enforcement,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez says in a Viber message.

He underscores the need for better compliance to health protocols in communities and public markets and boost contact tracing and testing efforts.

However, the DTI maintains its position against the implementation of a wide-scale lockdown because the economy needs to recover quickly.

Lopez says he finds no need to withdraw the go-signal given to reopen some sectors. The DTI chief points out that citizens could do better in avoiding private gatherings in their homes to lessen the risk of transmitting the virus.

“The feedback from the ground is, new cases coming mostly from household,” he says.

The DTI recently issued Memorandum Circular 21-08 which re-categorized sectors to Category III from Category IV and allow reopening in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Under the memorandum circular, which took effect last Friday, cinemas are allowed to operate at a maximum of 25 percent capacity in GCQ areas and 50 percent in those under modified GCQ (MGCQ), but would have to comply with health and safety protocols and additional guidelines from the Department of Health (DOH) and local government units (LGUs).

However, despite the call, mall operators deferred the re-opening of cinemas, and opted to wait for guidelines from LGUs.

The DTI’s memorandum circular also covers driving schools; video and interactive game arcades; libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers; tourist attractions like parks, theme parks, natural sites and historical landmarks; and meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions.

Areas under GCQ for this March are Metro Manila, Apayao, Baguio City, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Batangas, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City and Lanao del Sur.

The rest of the country is under the more relaxed modified GCQ. (JSM/JuanManila)

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