Extend or downgrade quarantine? Metro mayors to weigh in on fate of lockdown
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors are set to discuss on Tuesday night whether to extend the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) or downgrade it to general community quarantine (GCQ) after May 31.
Metro Manila Council chairman and Parañanque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said on Tuesday the mayors have no official decision yet in terms of the quarantine protocols, retracting his previous statement that 14 out of 17 mayors favor shifting to GCQ by June.
“Wala pang official stand ang bawat isang alkalde ng Metro Manila. Mamayang gabi ng 6 o’clock, magkakaroon ng Zoom meeting, kasama ang chairman ng MMDA doon,” he said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s Teleradyo.
(The mayors of Metro Manila have no official stand yet since we will meet 6 p.m. later along with the MMDA chairman.)
The chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will then announce its official statement after the meeting regarding its recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for Infectious Diseases (IATF).
For his part, Olivarez said he favors the shift to GCQ but strict health protocols such as physical distancing, wearing of face masks in public and frequent handwashing must still be followed.
“Kung ano ‘yung protocol ng Department of Health (DOH), ‘yun ang dapat sundin,” he said.
(The DOH protocol will be followed.)
The Parañaque City mayor earlier said that an extended community quarantine will have “severe economic effects” that will affect the public “negatively.”
“Low” to “moderate” risk areas earlier eased up stringent quarantine protocols and were placed under GCQ, where some movement restrictions will be lifted.
Metro Manila, Laguna province, and Cebu City, meanwhile, remained under MECQ due to high occurrence of COVID-19 cases. Under MECQ, several sectors were allowed to partially operate starting May 16.
The order will be in effect until May 31.
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