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Business leader sees Metro Manila under most relaxed alert level soon

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS

PRESIDENTIAL Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria “Joey” A. Concepcion III is confident that Metro Manila is ready for the implementation of more relaxed restrictions soon.

Mr. Concepcion said the capital region may soon be placed under Alert Level 1 from the current level 2, echoing a recent estimate by the OCTA Research Group, which has been tracking coronavirus data.

“I feel that it (Alert Level 1) would be coming towards December. You got the start of Alert Level 1 hopefully in December, which would propel more of the vaccinated to have greater mobility,” Mr. Concepcion said in a television interview on Monday.

Under Alert Level 1, all businesses are allowed to operate at full-site capacity while following minimum public health standards.

The Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila will be in effect until Nov. 30, based on the area classifications imposed by an inter-agency task force managing the pandemic response.

Meanwhile, Mr. Concepcion said the private sector should be given the green light to use its procured vaccines as booster shots for employees and inoculation of minors.

Mr. Concepcion said he already reached out to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III and vaccine czar Carlito G. Galvez, Jr., who both said they are open to the proposal.

“These vaccines are sitting down. Since we purchased it, the vaccines are meant for employees and the families and we want to implement it as soon as possible,” Mr. Concepcion said.

“We should allow the general public to also get inoculated and just have fast lanes for the A1 to A3 priority so we get the entire population moving. We should not wait for the sequencing anymore. Let’s just allow everybody and grant fast lanes,” he added.

The A1 to A3 groups cover healthcare workers, elderly citizens, and persons with comorbidity. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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