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PCCI welcome to join IATF as resource person – Roque

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque

Published August 22, 2020, 9:19 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang said the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is welcome to join the meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made this clear in a statement after the country’s largest business group appealed for a seat at IATF discussions.

Roque urged the PCCI to send representatives to join their IATF meetings, saying “The IATF welcomes any group, organization, or individual, outside the members of the IATF, to join the discussion of any of its meetings.”

“Officials of the PCCI can, therefore, serve as resource persons on matters related to trade, business and the economy,” he added, maintaining the IATF always welcomes experts to give input related to their field of expertise.

In a statement, the PCCI explained their insistence on joining the meetings as hinged on the seeming impractical standards set by the body for office/work, including mandating the use of face shields, two-meter physical distancing, and the designation of one room for every 200 employees as an isolation area.

“[This] is simply not realistic in a production-line setting,” PCCI President Benedicto Yujuico, enumerating other concerns such as limited public transportation, weak consumer confidence, and issues with cash flow and liquidity, among others.

In his statement, Roque said President Duterte’s economic team from the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Finance, the Department of Budget and Management, and the National Economic and Development Authority regularly joins IATF meetings.