MSMEs not in favor of ‘bakuna bubble’

A LOCAL business group finds the bakuna bubble in Cebu City a “divisive” move, saying it limits the market the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) badly need to bounce back from the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is despite the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) giving a nod and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) considering the policy a plausible idea.

The bakuna or vaccine bubble refers to the privileges given to the vaccinated individuals in Cebu City such as allowing them to dine indoors, access to services in salons and spas, and entry to indoor sports venues and indoor tourist attractions.

Filipino Cebuano Business Club chairman Rey Calooy said the move is divisive on the consumer side rather than promoting the business to be patronized by the people so they can start recovering.

“Here comes this kind of concept that has some sort of discrimination. Covid-19 does not discriminate. Even between the rich and poor, seniors and the children can get affected,” Calooy said.

Calooy said even health authorities have admitted there are breakthrough infections among the vaccinated.

He said the policy should not be compulsory.

“It should only be at the discretion of the business owners. For me, the business will take a longer time to recover. Why? Has Cebu reached more than 50 percent of its eligible population to be vaccinated? Not yet,” he said.

As of Sept. 12, there have been 306,367 individuals who received the first dose, or 43.8 percent of the target population which is 700,000.

There were also 191,524 individuals who were fully vaccinated, or 27.4 of the target population.

The protocol, Calooy said, only targets the vaccinated population and limits the market that could be reached by MSMEs.

“Businesses should be open to all. It’s too early because we haven’t achieved herd immunity yet. For now, we are still lacking on the execution of the vaccination due to limited manpower in other places,” he said.

In an earlier interview, CCCI president Felix Taguiam said the business community is seeing more economic activity after the city logged new daily Covid cases only in the double-digits since Sept. 11, from the previous three-digits.

On the other hand, MCCI president Steven Yu said the vaccine bubbles are implemented in many developed countries all over the world.

As proposed, the bakuna bubble confers more mobility benefits to the vaccinated but does not in any way mean more restrictions for the unvaccinated, he said. (JOB)