Legarda said hundreds of restaurants have ceased operations, all as a result of the imposition of community quarantines and restrictions meant to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
House Deputy Speaker and senatorial candidate Loren Legarda urged the government to heed the call of restaurant owners and employees for relief, as the new Covid-19 surge once again put their businesses in jeopardy.
In a press release, Legarda pushed for the passage of the Restaurant Industry Revival Act under House Bill No. 7610, which seeks to provide what she called a P30-billion “bridge fund” for restaurants to revive the restaurant industry for a post-Covid-19 economy and ensure their transition to a “better normal.”
“The foodservice industry is in dire crisis. The changes in regulations and restrictions due to the outbreak have severely affected the global and domestic economies. One of the sectors badly affected is the restaurant industry. This pandemic has changed the industry’s landscape, affecting its business operations, retail to customers, and logistic services,” the solon said.
With businesses are only allowed to operate at 30-percent indoor capacity and 50 percent outdoor capacity after the surge in Covid-19 cases that resulted in Metro Manila being placed under Alert Level 3, Legarda said hundreds of these restaurants have ceased operations, all as a result of the imposition of community quarantines and restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.
On top of the bridge fund, the bill likewise seeks to provide tax incentives and rent-extension payments to restaurants in distress that will allow the restaurant industry to sustain its operations and stay afloat until the pandemic is over.
“It has been a challenge for restaurant owners and operators to sustain their businesses, sacrificing sales revenue, balancing their remaining cash flows to cover rental, taxes, and other fees while ensuring that they can still provide daily wages to their employees. We have already recorded a 44-percent drop in foodservice sales in 2020, and many establishments need to downsize or cease operations,” Legarda said.
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