Alert Level 2 in NCR, mandatory vaccination pushed

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 13) — Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion called on the government to consider downgrading Metro Manila to Alert Level 2 to help businesses recover in the last quarter of the year.

"The last quarter is just three months, it’s not a long period. But this is the quarter that people may either live or die in terms of their businesses," Concepcion told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday.

"We have to allow people to open up because this is the last stop. If we can't jump in this train, we will not be able to cross over 2022 and many people will be affected," he added.

Under the government's alert level scheme, Alert Level 2 would allow businesses to operate at a maximum 50% capacity, with an additional 10% if they have Safety Seal certifications.

OCTA Research Fellow Guido David also recommended the easing of restrictions, citing a significant decrease in cases in Metro Manila over the past week.

READ: OCTA elated at 'very fast' decrease in COVID cases in NCR 

Metro Manila is currently under Alert Level 4, allowing a 30% capacity for outdoor operations and 10% for indoor activities in select establishments to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus.

The next alert level system will be announced before Oct. 16.

RELATED: EXPLAINER: What you need to know about the COVID-19 alert level system in NCR 

Concepcion said it's about time cinemas and spas are allowed to open, especially with the holidays coming up.

"We have to bring back confidence, we have to have the sense of Christmas spirit," he added.

He also called on the Duterte administration to consider mandatory vaccination, as the country's vaccine supply continues to increase.

"Maybe this is the time that President Duterte should really mandate vaccination for all. And that's being done in America, especially for government employees, those in critical areas," he said. "Different governments are mandating now the vaccination."

The country has received more than 87 million doses from different vaccine manufacturers, with increasing supply from Western brands Pfizer and Moderna to pave the way for the inoculation of children and the general public. Only over 23 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 so far.

Vaccination in the Philippines is currently not mandatory, but Filipinos are highly urged to register with their local government units to get their COVID-19 shots.