IATF okays reopening of more businesses amid pandemic

By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos

February 12 2021, 1:01 pm

<p>National Museum of Natural History<em> (File photo)</em></p>

National Museum of Natural History (File photo)

MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has allowed more businesses nationwide to resume operations amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, Malacañang said Friday.

In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the IATF-EID has approved the reopening of driving schools, traditional cinemas, and video and interactive-game arcades in the country.

Roque said libraries, archives, museums, and cultural centers have also been authorized to operate amid the pandemic.

Also approved is the reopening of limited tourist attractions like parks, theme parks, natural sites, and historical landmarks, he said.

The IATF-EID, he said, has also agreed to allow the conduct of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and limited social events at credited establishments of the Department of Tourism.

He said “strict” observance of minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health should be observed by businesses that could resume activities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The reopening and further expansion shall be subject to the issuance of the implementing guidelines which will provide for the operational capacity, and oversight of the appropriate regulatory agency and the concerned local government units where these businesses/industries are located,” he said.

The IATF-EID’s latest decision came after President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern over the current state of the Philippine economy.

The country’s economic team is calling for the further relaxation of quarantine rules in the country to revive the economy.

During the Laging Handa briefing, Roque said the IATF has decided to give more sectors the chance to operate the pandemic since there is no increase in the Covid-19 attack rate and utilization rate.

“At siyempre po alinsunod ito sa katotohanan na kinakailangan nating magbukas pa ng ekonomiya dahil kinakailangan magkaroon ng karagdagang hanapbuhay ang ating mga kababayan (And of course, it is in accordance with the reality that we need to reopen the economy to generate more jobs for our fellow Filipinos),” Roque said.

Duterte on Monday vowed to take necessary steps to ensure that the Philippine economy remains afloat. (PNA)