Economy gets boost from eased restrictions

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    Businesses welcome the easing of restrictions saying the changes will give the economy a much-needed boost.

    Members of the private sector-led Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign, a consortium of the country’s biggest companies and brands are referring to the directives of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) allowing persons aged 18 to 65 to leave their homes starting October 22 from the previous 21 to 60 years old as well as the shortening of curfew hours, which were previously 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., to from midnight to 4 a.m.

    “With the safe and gradual reopening of retail spaces, we are ensuring the well-being of our patrons but also that more people are able to recover their sources of livelihood,” emphasized SM Supermalls president Steven Tan. SM has over 89,000 direct micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) partners.

    Megaworld chief strategy officer Kevin Tan said the increases in operational capacity made possible by the new guidelines will have a positive impact on employment. A shorter and later curfew would also allow workers to travel with ease and will prevent situations of overcrowding because people are rushing home to beat the curfew.

    Tan also acknowledged the strong mall culture in the Philippines, adding that “most shoppers still want to visit brick and mortar stores, especially for items that they would want to fit. Plus malls have become one stop shops for us – it’s where we do business and also bond with our loved ones.” Megaworld Lifestyle Malls are gearing up for the expected influx of shoppers by rolling out more safety measures in touchpoints like fitting rooms on top of the sanitation chambers and thermal scanners already in use.

    Also benefiting from the relaxing of the restrictions are businesses such as fast-food chains and restaurants.

    McDonald’s PH president and CEO Kenneth Yang is looking forward to more diners said more operating hours will translate to additional shifts; this means more of our people can go back to work.”

    The Ingat Angat Tayong Lahat campaign provides establishment owners and consumers with tools and information to safely travel, shop from their favorite stores, and patronize their favorite restaurants.