Only fewer than 100,000 displaced persons in the National Capital Region (NCR) will remain unemployed, but around 300,000 employees will be returning to work as restrictions continue to relax and more operations with higher capacity reopen on Friday, October 16.

“With most of the remaining economic sectors, particularly the service sectors reopening in Metro Manila and with higher operating capacities also due to the de-escalation on alert level 3, we expect most of the remaining 300,000 laid-off workers to be able to go back to work,” said Handels – and Industry Minister Ramon M. Lopez. The Inter Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases lowered the NCR from October 16 to October 31 from the current warning level 4 to warning level 3.

Minister of Commerce and Industry Ramon M. Lopez

This means, he said, minimal or fewer than 100,000 workers will remain unemployed in the remaining closed sectors such as live entertainment / karaoke bars, children’s entertainment centers and playgrounds.

“We’re not back to the pre-pandemic yet because it’s not 100 percent of the pre-pandemic yet. We are still more similar to, and much better than, the General Community Quarantine of the past, ”he added.

By comparison, Lopez said there were an estimated 1.8 million displaced workers under the ECQ, with the NCR’s share being around one million.

Regarding the percentage of facilities still closed, Lopez said the DTI will conduct another survey to account for the new openings. But the best case under the previous GCQ was that about 4 percent of the establishments closed, he said.

According to Warning Level 3, business establishments or economic activities may have a higher operating capacity of a maximum of 30 percent only for fully vaccinated persons indoors and 50 percent for outdoor venues, provided that there are no objections from the local government authorities to these activities.

Permitted economic activities include venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions; allowed places for social events (parties, weddings, debuts, birthdays, family reunions); Visitor or tourist attractions (libraries, museums, galleries, parks, squares, exhibitions, public gardens, lookouts or lookouts, etc.); Amusement or theme parks; Leisure facilities (internet cafes, billiard halls, arcades, bowling alleys, ice rinks, archery halls, swimming pools); Cinemas and cinemas; Dining service in restaurants, commissariats, pubs, which are subject to the DTI sector-specific protocols; Personal care facilities (hairdressing salons, hair treatments, hairdressing salons, nail baths, aesthetic / cosmetic services, reflexology, including home services); Fitness studios, gyms and venues for contactless training and sports in accordance with industry-specific guidelines; limited presence in higher education and technical vocational training; personal religious, meetings for necrological services, wakes, funerals and funerals for those who died from causes other than Covid and for the remains of those who died from COVID-19; and film, music and television products that are subject to the joint guidelines of the DTI, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Labor and Employment.