Business in GCQ areas may hike capacity starting shortly

MANILA — Businesses listed under Categories II and III in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) may shortly operate at full capacity, as allowed under Memo  Circular No. 20-52 issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

MC No. 20-52 lists business establishments and activities in GCQ areas that can now further increase their operational capacity. These businesses include mining and quarrying;   financial services such as money exchange, insurance, reinsurance, lending companies, and non-compulsory pension funding; legal and accounting; management consultancy activities; architecture and engineering activities; technical testing and analysis; scientific and research development; and advertising and market research.

Computer programming, publishing and printing services, as well as film, music, and TV production will also be allowed to operate at full capacity.

Other businesses that may hike their current operational capacity are recruitment and placement agencies for overseas employment; photography services for fashion, industrial, graphic, and interior design; wholesale and retail trade of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles, including their parts and components; and repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles, and bicycles, including vulcanizing shops, battery repair shops, auto repair shops, and car wash.

Subject further to pertinent DTI guidelines, the MC also includes malls and commercial centers for non-leisure business activities and mall-based non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments such as hardware stores; clothing and accessories; bookstore and school and office supplies stores; infant care supplies; pet shops, pet food, and pet care supplies; IT, communications, and electronic equipment; flower, jewelry, novelty, antique, and perfume shops; toy stores, but playgrounds and amusement area must remain closed; music stores; art galleries, but for selling purposes only; and firearms and ammunition trading establishment.

Public and private construction projects may also operate at full capacity, along with barbershops and salons, but only up to 75%, and physical distancing should be strictly observed.

“The operational capacity for dine-in services of restaurants and fast food establishments shall be allowed at more than 50 percent operational capacity; provided that, physical distancing is strictly observed; provided further that, the increase in operating capacity, menu offering, and maximum servings of alcoholic beverages shall be subject to the corresponding local government guidelines,” noted the MC which also allows food establishments’ dine-in, take-out, and delivery services to operate up to 24 hours.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez explains: “What we are saying is to allow restaurants that would like to open (during) curfew (hours). We lift the curfew for these food establishments because they serve those who are working on night shift or after midnight.”

Lopez earlier announced DTI’s proposal to allow some businesses in areas under GCQ status like Metro Manila to operate at full capacity to let more workers go back to their jobs. 

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