Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is allowing stores to operate for 12 hours during the enhanced community quarantine period.
“Supermarkets groceries, agri-fisheries stores, public markets, convenience stores, drugstores, and all retailers of basic (commodities) and essentials and medical products are encouraged to extend their operations to a maximum of 12 hours so as to lengthen the operating hours and spread the flow of consumers,” Lopez said. .
He said this is effective immediately.
When the enhanced community quarantine was announced, some establishments reduced their business hours, which led to the gathering of more people due to a shorter period to buy their needs.
“(T)hey are allowed to operate 12 hours like before and not be constrained by local ordinances,” Lopez said.
Meanwhile, he said the IATF has also approved the proposal to grant a 30-day deferment of commercial rents to micro, small, and medium enterprises outside malls.
The IATF initially ordered mall operators to waive rents and other charges for stores that were forced to halt their operations due to the quarantine.
Lessors are also advised to waive interest penalties, fees, and other charges during the quarantine period, Lopez added.