Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria A. Concepcion urged the government to further ease the mobility restrictions soon, especially with the upcoming summer to encourage travel and other tourism-related spending.
At a Laging Handa briefing on Tuesday, the Go Negosyo founder said he is hoping that Alert Level 1 will be imposed by March to boost the tourism industry’s recovery from the pandemic.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) recently announced that the National Capital Region and most parts of the country would remain under Alert Level 2 until the end of February.
More mobility for tourists will allow them to have more participation in economic activities, Concepcion said, which can help the tourism sector, including the tourist guides and souvenir shops.
Other vacation spending he cited are airfare, food and accommodation.
In an earlier statement, Concepcion stressed that “moving to Alert Level 1 will have a big effect on how we recover” as it will help in continuing “the gains we realized in the fourth quarter.”
The presidential adviser, with this, stressed the need to continue vaccination not only for the primary doses, but also for the booster shots as well to ensure protection against the vaccination.
As for the pandemic exit plan, Concepcion said that it is yet to be finalized.
The said plan intends to set the minimum health protocols amid the pandemic to allow “almost all businesses to open,” which is key to economic recovery, he said. In addition, Concepcion said it would also prescribe the operational capacities of the establishments.
Last month, Concepcion and OCTA Research fellow Nicanor Austriaco called on the IATF to begin crafting an “exit plan” for the pandemic in a bid to spur economic recovery.
Essentially, both parties want the government to open up the economy by easing and simplifying travel restrictions. Doing so, they said, will bode well, especially for the micro, small and medium enterprises.
Concepcion also suggested recently that the country might forgo the use of Alert Level System in curbing the Covid-19 infection by March as the recent Omicron variant has resulted in milder cases. Instead, he said that the government should strengthen the implementation of minimum health protocols.