Private sector saw urgent need to impose NCR lockdown in August – official

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 4) — Presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion on Wednesday said the private sector saw that imposing a hard lockdown in the capital region immediately will also eventually be better for businesses.

He said the options were to impose the enhanced community quarantine this month or wait for a few more weeks.

The official said business owners are generally against the imposition of a wide-scale lockdown, but due to the rising threat of the more transmissible Delta variant, they agreed it was better to do it right away. He said an early lockdown can immediately address the surge while it has not yet gained much speed, adding it will also ensure the strict restrictions do not hurt the latter part of the year, where businesses are seen to earn more due to the holidays.

"On a larger perspective, what we're trying to do is protect our 4th quarter [of the year]. For most MSMEs and large corporations it is the quarter when momentum really builds up," he said in an online townhall meeting.

He added, "We know it is the Christmas season so consumer spending is at its highest and election spending would have started to kick off so this is the best time for many entrepreneurs who are losing money in the previous quarters to recover it."

Metro Manila will be placed under the most restrictive enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20. Only essential businesses will be allowed to operate during the two-week period.

“I think, by and large, I believe we made the right decision. We’re here to save the lives of the unvaccinated. The unvaccinated are at the highest risk,” Concepcion said.