Biz groups support 2-week ECQ in NCR

Businessmen have been vocally against another strict lockdown, but this time they have expressed support for the government’s decision to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

In a statement, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) said: “Business is against lockdown because it is disruptive and harmful to the economy. But if DOH (Department of Health) finds it necessary due to (the) unexpected surge of the Delta variant, then business will comply,”

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced last Friday that the NCR would be placed under ECQ for two weeks from August 6 to 20, as Covid-19 infections in different parts of the country continue to spike amid the threats of the more infectious Delta variant.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez noted that infection numbers presented “showed increasing Delta variant cases, especially in some cities in NCR. Some cities in NCR reported cases almost doubled in one day.” 

The PCCI, however, expressed hope the ECQ in the NCR would be lifted as soon as possible. “The biggest challenge is to regain the stalled momentum, sustain the recovery trajectory, keep the workers, and meet fixed operating expenses,” it added.

In a separate statement, the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX) also welcomed the two-week ECQ in the NCR. “We, in the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines, welcome the two-week ECQ as a pre-emptive move against the surge of Covid-19 cases that will wreak more havoc to the economy and our people. Short-term sacrifice for long-term gain, so to speak,” it said.

FINEX also reminded its members “to leave no stone unturned” in taking care and helping their employees during the ECQ period. It likewise urged Filipinos to maintain minimum public health protocols and do their part in mitigating the risks of contracting Covid-19 by getting vaccinated.

“We strongly urge that the importation of more vaccines be treated with urgency and that an aggressive and efficient vaccination program and effective contact tracing be given heightened attention, especially in areas that substantially contribute to our economy,” it stressed.