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Marikina Rep. Quimbo bats for ‘business bubbles’ to avert ‘devastating’ economic losses due to ECQ

August 01, 2021 - Sunday 7:08 PM by MDM

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Marikina Rep. Stella Luz A. Quimbo is proposing for the creation of so-called “business bubbles,” wherein workplaces that are willing to test their workers should be allowed to operate to save the economy from the impact of another lockdown.

Citing a report from the Department of Trade and Industry, Quimbo, an economist, said that most the recent implementation of enhanced community quarantine in NCR+ led to losses of about P12.9 billion per day.

“Based on my own computations, these losses can actually reach P18 billion per day using national income data. Para sa maraming Pilipino, ang kahulugan ng ECQ ay walang pasok, walang negosyo at walang pera sa bulsa,” she said.

“Ngunit, sa pagkakataong ito, may malaking pinagkaiba:  meron nang mas reliable na screening method sa pamamagitan ng antigen swab tests at mahigit 7 milyong Pilipino na ang fully vaccinated kontra COVID-19,” the lawmaker added.

The NCR will once again be placed under ECQ beginning August 6 to 20 amid the threat of the more contagious Delta variant.

“Now that we have millions of fully vaccinated individuals and testing has become routinary in many places, I propose that we allow ‘business bubbles’ to operate. Sa pag-implement ng business bubbles, workplaces that are willing to test workers should be allowed to operate,” said Quimbo. 

“Kung fully vaccinated, pwedeng pumasok sa trabaho at pwedeng bumili ng pagkain, at ibig sabihin hindi kailangang mag-sara ng mga negosyo o matigil ang sweldo,” she said.

Quimbo noted that since the private sector has been vaccinating their employees, LGUs should now focus on vaccinating the families and households of workers. 

“We also need ‘transportation bubbles’ for these business bubbles to succeed. Dapat na magkaroon ng dedicated buses at iba pang PUVs na para lamang sa fully vaccinated individuals, but still subject to minimum health standards,” she said.

She said that by creating these bubbles to promote micro-herd immunity and safe spaces, it is possible that the country will not incur the same devastating economic losses suffered during the previous ECQs. 

“Klaro ang mensahe: bakuna ang pinakamainam na panlaban sa epekto ng pandemya. Kaya’t mahalaga na mapabilis ang pag-expand ng vaccine supply natin,” she said.