Metro Manila mayors recommend ‘flexible’ MECQ — MMDA
MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors have agreed to recommend a “flexible” modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) over their localities in a bid to keep COVID-19 infections under control while slowly opening up the economy, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos said Wednesday.
Abalos said a flexible MECQ is a “middle ground” between MECQ and a looser general community quarantine (GCQ), meaning strict border control and health protocols will still be implemented but more activities, such as construction, will be allowed.
“You get the best characteristics of an MECQ and GCQ. That’s the middle ground. I think it’s a good transition,” he told INQUIRER.net in a phone interview.
Abalos said mayors weighed the advice of health experts and economic experts in coming up with their recommendation.
“There are fears of health experts that opening up the economy will increase infections. On the other hand, sabi naman ng economic experts, there’s now hunger and so much work displacement,” he said.
Abalos also said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez will release the list of industries that will be opened should the flexible MECQ is allowed.
With the flexible MECQ, Abalos said “fears on both sides will vanish.”
Metro Manila mayors have submitted their recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which, in turn, will submit its recommendation to the President.
Aside from the quarantine classification, mayors have also agreed to shorten curfew hours from the previous 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., Abalos said.
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