More than 1,000 business owners and franchisees have rallied behind the call to allow greater mobility for those who have been inoculated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) as a way to revive the economy.
In a manifesto, they lamented the financial losses and obligations they sustained because of the lockdowns implemented by the government since the start of the pandemic 18 months ago.
"Of utmost importance, our employees have families to feed and stable employment is difficult to assure without a clear plan," they said.
They expressed full support for Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Jose Maria "Joey" Concepcion 3rd's push for the implementation of the bakuna bubble or vaccine bubble.
Under the bakuna bubble, Covid-19 guidelines are eased for fully vaccinated individuals to help boost the economy and protect the employment of many Filipinos.
"It would allow these severely affected establishments the opportunity to bounce back and more importantly for their employees to begin to rebuild their livelihood," they said.
"We believe that this is the best way to safely open up the economy, saving both lives and livelihood," they added.
Concepcion, also the founder of Go Negosyo, earlier floated the idea of allowing malls, restaurants and other establishments to limit entry to only those who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
The Commission on Human Rights and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, however, questioned the proposal on grounds that it may be discriminatory.
Concepcion, however, maintained that limiting the movements of the unvaccinated was for their own protection, and that allowing the fully vaccinated to go to malls would help economic recovery.
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) recently joined Concepcion's push to let fully vaccinated individuals enjoy greater mobility to jumpstart the economy.
In a resolution signed by 17 Metro Manila mayors and the Metro Manila Development Authority, the MMC asked the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to let fully vaccinated people engage in business and other activities that are prohibited under quarantine guidelines.
As part of their support to the government's initiatives, businesses have actively encouraged their employee base to get vaccinated and have invested in vaccines to ensure that their workers are protected.
They have also expressed support to the planned granular lockdowns, appealing to the government to consider the move as a sustainable option that provides a responsive and prudent framework in preventing the spread of the virus within communities.
"This framework can serve as a secure and safe way to restart and sustain the economy whilst ensuring that proper measures are in place to safeguard citizens' health," they added.
The government is aiming to fully vaccinate almost 71 million Filipinos before the end of the year.
However, only 17 million have been fully vaccinated as of September 13. This means that after more than six months, the government has reached only 22 percent of its target.
Meanwhile, the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) has fully vaccinated 6,000,763 people.
A total of 39,142,205 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the country.