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Akbayan presses IATF to reimburse small businesses after MECQ extension

By Jose Oscar Magpusao


The Akbayan Partylist urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to reimburse small businesses that incurred heavy losses following their sudden decision to extend Metro Manila’s Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in a press release on Wednesday.

Akbayan First Nominee and former National Youth Commission (NYC) commissioner Perci Cendaña said that extending the MECQ to September 15 and effectively delaying the shift to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) blindsided a large number of small businesses, especially those that had already committed valuable resources and saving to resume operations such as restaurants.

“The IATF must reimburse small businesses that incurred losses due to its ‘laban-bawi’ quarantine protocols. This kind of negligence and thoughtlessness from the government hurts everyone, especially small enterprises and their workers who are trying their best to survive despite the pandemic," Cendaña said in the press release.

"We demand an 'incompetence fee' from this government. Dahil sa pabugso-bugsong pagdedesiyon ng gobyerno, ang mga pinaghirapang puhunan, pamasahe at iba pang gastusin ng ating mga kababayan ay naaksaya at nauwi sa wala," Cendaña added.

The Akbayan leader expressed that, given the surge of COVID-19 cases and a rise in Delta cases, he understood the reasoning behind the government’s decision to extend the MECQ but remained steadfast in saying that the public deserved a warning beforehand.

"The government's carelessness and impulsive actions kill small businesses and jobs. Magkaroon naman sana ang gobyerno ng maayos na plano at konting malasakit sa taumbayan. Sa bawat desisyon nila, buhay, negosyo at kabuhayan ng mga tao ang nakataya," Cendaña said in the press release.

Cendaña then implored the government to improve their pandemic response and push for more COVID-19 testing, ramp up vaccination and ensure the survival and recovery of small businesses by providing them with substantial aid.

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