Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez
MANILA – As gross domestic product (GDP) growth contraction eased in the third quarter of the year, the country’s top trade official underscored the need to adhere to the minimum health protocol to further reopen the economy.
In a statement Wednesday, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said the GDP growth in the third quarter of 2020 indicates that the country is in the right trajectory for recovery.
The GDP growth for the third quarter fell by 11.5 percent, easing from the 16.9-percent contraction in the second quarter of the year.
“We are hopeful that we will see more improvements as we continue to reopen our economy while still observing minimum health protocol,” Lopez said.
In a Cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Tuesday, Lopez reported how the DTI pushed for the gradual and safe reopening of businesses.
Starting this month, business establishments and activities under Category III in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) are allowed to open at 75 percent operational capacity, and full capacity for areas under and modified GCQ (MGCQ).
“However, we need to ensure that minimum health standards are observed to control the transmission of the virus. We need to stay on course in keeping ourselves safe as we go back to work,” he added.
Lopez also reminded Filipinos to observe the ‘Seven Commandments’ or the minimum health standard to manage the risk of contracting Covid-19.
These include the wearing of proper face masks, wearing face shields, no talking and eating, adequate ventilation, frequent and proper disinfection, no symptomatic passengers, and appropriate physical distancing.
“It is okay for us to reopen (the economy) as long as we follow the minimum health protocol. The community quarantine will not be the determinant to reduce the (Covid-19) cases. It will be the adherence to the minimum health protocol,” Lopez said. (PNA)