With vaccine rollout, Fil-Chinese chambers of commerce want MGCQ by end of March

“It’s about time to open up the economy,” says FFCCCII president


(Eagle News) – The head of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc., (FFCCCII)  said that they prefer a shift to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) by the end of March at the latest since the vaccine program has already started.

FFCCCII president Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong said that “it’s about time to open up the Philippine economy” noting that the Philippines has one of the longest lockdowns among ASEAN countries.

“I think it’s about time that we should move to MGCQ already, otherwise the vicious cycle will continue,” he noted in an interview by Balitakayan anchor Weng dela Fuente Deimoy on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.

Lim said that with the vaccines coming in, the economy should be opened up further, if not by mid-March, then by the end of the month, since various businesses and workers are already suffering.

-Businesses suffering-

He noted that their federation composed of more than 170 different organizations and chapters all over the country involved in all kinds of businesses – from plastic, paper, and furniture manufacturing among others – are already hurting because of the restrictions due to quarantine protocols.

“All of them are suffering, of course except for food and agriculture, ok pa rin yun,” he said.

“We are really feeling the pinch. I think millions and billions are being lost every day because of this quarantine,” he said.

He noted that factories cannot operate, many employees are not able to go to work, and this means more people could not earn.

“Right now, with the advent of vaccines coming in, siguro it’s about time to open up the economy. Kung hindi ngayon, at least by the middle of this month or the end of March dapat buksan na tayo,” he noted.

Lim noted that he was “so disappointed when Sinovac was being demonized.”

-Push to have Sinovac vaccines for the elderly-

Fortunately, more people are now having the confidence to get the vaccines, especially as more people are realizing that the vaccines can save them from getting severe COVID-19

Itong vaccines, maganda nga, ano. So far, nobody died,” Dr. Lim said.

In fact, he wanted to be vaccinated himself with Sinovac.

But because of the age restrictions – only those between 18 to 59 years old were initially recommended for vaccination by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) – he was not given the vaccine.

Even so, Lim, who is almost 70 years old, still wants to get the Sinovac shots noting that other countries have allowed senior citizens to get the vaccines. There were also senior citizens injected with SInovac vaccines in other countries, he said,

So far, there were no severe adverse reactions to the vaccines.

‘I’m happy that Dr (Eric) Domingo (of FDA), was able to increase it from from 59 to 65,” Lim said, although he said he wanted to remove the cap on age so that more of the federation members like him can get the Sinovac vaccines.

Only those given Pfizer vaccines had been reported to have severe adverse reactions, including anaphylactic shock. There were also reports of deaths in care homes in other countries after getting the mRNA shot from Pfizer.

Dr. Lim said that with Sinovac, there has been no reported deaths after receiving the vaccine.

(Eagle News Service)