About 700,000 Filipino workers have yet to return to their jobs even after movement restrictions were eased to the general community quarantine (GCQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Bulacan, also known as “NCR-Plus,” the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Monday.

Trade Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte said workers who had yet to return were from high-risk industries.

On May 13, Palace spokesman Harry Roque announced that NCR-Plus would be placed under GCQ with “heightened restrictions” from May 15 until May 30.

Vizmonte said that some 200,000 to 300,000 Filipino workers were able to return to their jobs due to the easing of restrictions.

“Ang palagay po ng DTI, ay mga 200 to 300 thousand po na mga empleyado ang muling nakabalik dahil dito sa deklarasyon ng heightened restriction ng GCQ,” he said.

Most of these workers were employees of restaurants, which, under GCQ, were allowed to operate indoor dining at 20 percent capacity.

Personal care services have also been allowed to operate at higher capacity.

The DTI on April 29 reported that an estimated 1 million Filipino workers were displaced due to the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine, while 1.5 million were unemployed during the enhanced community quarantine.

All retail establishments, including non-essential ones, have also been allowed to operate, Vizmonte said.

However, entertainment establishments such as bars that only offered alcoholic drinks and had live performances, as well as cinemas and casinos and other gambling establishments were not allowed to operate.

Vizmonte added that once “regular GCQ” was implemented, more Filipinos would be able to return to their jobs.

Under the new GCQ protocols, only 20 percent on-site capacity was allowed, while the previous GCQ protocols allowed 50 percent on-site capacity.

The 50 percent capacity allowed for personal care services was trimmed to 30 percent. Charlene Grace Lao