Metro mayors agree to enforce common curfew for 2 weeks
The 17 mayors of Metro Manila agreed on Thursday to implement a common curfew to suppress a spike in coronavirus infections in the metropolis.
Starting Monday, the curfew will be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and will be effective for two weeks throughout the metropolis, Benhur Abalos, chief of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), told a news conference after the mayors’ meeting on Thursday evening.
Abalos said the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the policy-making body of the MMDA, drafted a resolution for the adoption of a common curfew after the meeting.
Penalties for violations of the curfew will be based on the penal provisions of local ordinances, he said.
Currently, the different jurisdictions in Metro Manila implement different curfews, mostly starting at midnight but ending at different hours early on the following day.
Abalos, who is also the concurrent head of the MMC, said the mayors decided on a common curfew because of the “alarming” increase in coronavirus infections in the metropolis.
Citing figures from the independent OCTA Research, Abalos said the rate of new COVID-19 cases in the metropolis rose from 8 percent on Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, or 360 cases per day, to 60 percent, or 1,411 cases daily, on March 4 to March 10.
“It’s difficult if they go separately because movement in Manila is fast. They decided to fight COVID-19 as one,” Abalos said.
Back to basics
He stressed that the curfew would be implemented for only two weeks, or the incubation period of the virus, and would be adjusted as needed later.
With the threat of new and more contagious variants of the coronavirus, Abalos said the solution was to go back to basics, such as testing, contact tracing and isolation.
After implementing these basic measures, he said the mayors would impose lockdowns—closing a street, village, or compound—to suppress the transmission of the virus.
“What’s important is that the healthy population, those who are not infected, can still go to work or live normal lives, because we’re now balancing the economy with health measures,” Abalos said.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government on Monday asked local governments to enact ordinances penalizing violations of public health measures in order to halt the spike in coronavirus infections. The agency also asked the Metro Manila mayors to adopt a common curfew for easier enforcement.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.