Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez is encouraging local government units (LGUs) to push curfew hours closer to midnight to enable restaurants and fast-food chains could operate for longer hours.
During the Laging Handa public briefing on Tuesday, Lopez said longer operating hours would enable restaurants and fast-food chains with dine-in services to accommodate more customers and increase their revenues.
He said the income of these businesses has been limited due to the restricted capacity imposed on dine-in restaurants and fast-food establishments.
“I hope they will allow it because it will give additional income also to the workers if they will extend it because it will have more turnover, at least for dinner,” Lopez said, noting that dinner time accounts for 40 percent to 50 percent of the daily revenues of dine-in restaurants.
Dine-in services in restaurants and fast-food chains have been allowed at 30 percent capacity in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) and up to 50 percent in areas under modified GCQ (MGCQ) since June 21.
“We advise and enjoin our local government units to allow the extension of curfew. Instead of starting it at 10 p.m., make it 12 (midnight), so that restaurants can operate up to 10 p.m.,” Lopez said in Filipino.
He also said health protocols in restaurants should be strictly implemented with the gradual re-opening of business activities.
The DTI monitors 400 establishments daily to ensure that health protocols are implemented, Lopez said, noting a 92-percent to 100-percent compliance among restaurants and fast-food chains offering dine-in services.
He earlier said the DTI would expand by July 21 the capacity of dine-in services up to 50 percent in GCQ areas and up to 75 percent in MGCQ areas.
“It is hard to think that businesses will halt their operations again,” Lopez said when asked about the possibility of Metro Manila returning to the stricter modified enhanced community quarantine. (PNA)