Starting yesterday, 16 September, the National Capital Region (NCR) went under the pilot implementation of the Alert Levels System for Covid-19 Response.
Under this new classification framework for the purpose of community quarantine, there are five alert levels, Alert Levels 1-5, and the NCR will be under Alert Level 4 during the pilot implementation.
Under Alert Level 4, there will be certain restrictions for establishments and activities that would fall under the so-called 3C, which refer to closed spaces, crowded spaces, and activities that promote close contact.
For this pilot, however, we at the IATF have allowed, to a limited extent, certain indoor activities like dine-in, personal care services, and religious services for the fully vaccinated. This is because we believe that a limited indoor capacity would be safe for the fully vaccinated, allowing, at the same time, the gradual reopening of certain sectors of the economy that have been closed for so long.
This is good news to our workers and employees from food preparation establishments, personal care services, and those working in the religious sectors. Under Alert Level 4, these three sectors are allowed limited capacity provided that all of the people who will be working in the said sectors during the pilot are fully vaccinated.
Under Alert Level 4 for this pilot, al fresco dining shall be allowed up to a maximum 30 percent venue or seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. In addition to this, dining establishments shall be allowed indoor dine-in services at a limited 10 percent venue or seating capacity, but only for fully vaccinated customers.
The same conditions set for food preparation establishments are applied for personal care services and religious services: 30 percent outdoor for both vaccinated and unvaccinated, and 10 percent indoor for fully vaccinated, provided that workers/employees for both industries are fully vaccinated.
This reopening of some businesses even under Alert Level 4 is a welcome development and something that I am personally advocating for strongly, as this will give jobs and livelihood opportunities to many of our countrymen.
My stance on total health has always been consistent with my personal beliefs and philosophies even before I entered the Office of the President. I have been fighting for the average Filipino in my entire professional career and nothing has changed since I became a Palace spokesperson.
Being a voice for the marginalized and disadvantaged Filipinos is something that I will continue to do, regardless of the shifting winds of public opinion. While medical frontliners have been calling for a time out, a great majority of our people have been out of work and suffering from poverty and joblessness.
This shift in policy towards a granular lockdown-focused response is a good development in our fight against Covid-19 as this will allow mobility for the greater majority of people, thereby allowing them to work and earn a living. Areas not under a granular lockdown will only have restrictions on certain activities and industries, but will allow for more businesses and sectors to open.
Under this policy shift with strict implementation of granular lockdowns, we hope to address the high number of cases by preventing the transmission of the virus from the home or community, while allowing the rest of the country and the economy to recover gradually. Ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay.