DTI to informal workers: Sell outside of Metro Manila in the meantime

MANILA, Philippines – Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday, March 13, said that informal sector workers, who are generally not registered to do business in Metro Manila, should sell outside the capital region in the meantime.

At the Laging Handa press briefing in Malacañang, Lopez was asked what would happen to informal sector workers, when the government implements the impending precautionary lockdown of Metro Manila against the spread of the coronavirus disease.

According to Lopez, it's either they register as informal sector members or they sell outside Metro Manila. (READ: What you need to know about PH's informal sector workers)

"I-encourage na lang natin sila na either magregister sila or 'do'n na lang sila sa lugar nanggagaling, 'wag na pumasok sa Metro Manila. Kasi 'yung general princple po, sabi na nga ng ating CabSec (Cabinet Secretary), talagang ma-minimize 'yung movement," Lopez said.

(We encourage them to either register or just do business where they are from and not enter Metro Manila. Because the general principle, as mentioned by our CabSec, is to minimize the movement.)

Lopez said that informal sector workers are not registered in LGUs, in general.

"Generally speaking, pagka-informal sector, 'pag sila mismo ang negosyante, do'n na lang sila sa ibang lugar muna na lang magnegosyo, 'wag na lang sa Metro Manila. Hindi naman sila registered eh. Technically, puwede silang magnegosyo kahit saan," Lopez said.

(Generally speaking, for informal sector workers, if they are the seller, it's better if they do business in other places in the meantime, and not in Metro Manila. They are usually not registered. Technically, they can do business anywhere.)

But Lopez qualified that some informal sectors are indeed registered in some local governments, so they will still be allowed entry for business.

"Kaya dapat magregister sila. Tapos gano'n na rin sa workers na 'yon kasi importante may ID eh. Kasi limit talaga natin 'yung movement within one month," Lopez said.

(It's really important that they register. It's important for the workers to have an ID. Because we are really limiting the movement within one month.)

The Philippines declared a "community quarantine" – which in effect is similar to a lockdown – that will be restricting land, air, and water travel from Metro Manila to any point of the country from March 15 to April 14.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the lockdown of Metro Manila can be lifted anytime the Duterte government sees it fit, or be extended if needed. 

As of writing, the Philippines has 52 coronavirus patients. Five of them have died– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.