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CCCI: ECQ will make Cebu City businesses suffer again

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - CDN Digital | June 16,2020 - 04:36 PM

Several shops in Downtown Cebu that were previously open during the General Community Quarantine have closed due to the Cebu City retracting back to Enhanced Community Quarantine on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. CDN Digital photo | Gerard Vincent Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said the return of Cebu City to an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will be difficult for the business sector.

Felix Taguiam, the president of CCCI, said in a text message to CDN Digitalthat the businesses cannot handle another hard lockdown after two months of lockdown from April to May 2020.

“Since June 1, 2020, 50 to 60 percent of businesses are back and have adjusted to the new norm. With last night’s announcement back to ECQ, we will need to reassess the situation in the days to come,” said Taguiam.

Read: It’s back to ECQ for Cebu City

The CCCI expects that the ECQ will be another blow to the business sector, after they supposedly began to recover in the first half of June 2020.

“Businesses at this time can not handle another hard lockdown. This will create many problems to employees’ livelihood,” said Taguiam.

Still, Taguiam said the businesses should still prioritize safety for both employees and customers.  Social distancing must be maintained in all workplaces as well as proper hygiene and the wearing of masks.

“The top priority is to bring down the cases we are now experiencing,” he said.

For a 45-year-old barbershop owner in Barangay Poblacion Pardo, who sought anonymity, the ECQ will once again cripple his business.

His family managed to survive the two month-lockdown with their meager savings, and they barely began to recover when they were allowed to open on June 1, 2020.

He is worried now that he is forced to close his barbershop again, but he is more worried about his employees and barbers who will once again lose their source of income.

“Atong pagsirado namo atong Abril, nakahatag paman ko ato og gamayng hinabang sa ilaha, bugas, delata. Karon lisod naman gyod kaayo kay kadyot ra gyod kaayo mi nangabli,” he said.

(When we closed last April, we were able to provide the employees small help, rice and canned goods. Right now, we cannot do so because we were only open for a very short time.)

The barbershop owner is hoping that the city government can help small to medium enterprises survive this pandemic. /bmjo

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TAGS: CCCI, Cebu City, ECQ, Felix Taguiam

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