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Eased restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals pushed by NCR mayors

/ 06:06 PM September 09, 2021
makati city Vaccination program

FILE – Mass COVID-19 vaccination at the Makati Coliseum. Image from Facebook / MyMakati

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council (MMC) on Thursday released a resolution urging the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF) to ease COVID-19 restrictions for fully-vaccinated individuals in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Under the unanimously approved Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Resolution No. 21-19, all Metro Manila mayors urged the IATF to “consider the easing of the COVID-19 guidelines for fully-vaccinated individuals in the NCR subject to the conduct of an inter-agency and inter-disciplinary study to determine the appropriate policy therefore based on scientific and empirical evidence.”

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By easing restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals, the council said the government can boost economic activities in the region.

According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent chair of the MMC, the government’s campaign to vaccinate the rest of the population would eventually contribute to steady economic growth, particularly industries and services greatly hit by the pandemic.

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“With the NCR being considered right now to be the epicenter of this pandemic and the region with the most number of vaccinated individuals, we are confident that we can find the right balance between safeguarding the public’s health and reviving [the] economy,” Abalos said.


The MMDA said that the NCR has already registered around 56 percent of the eligible population or 5,492,344 individuals who have completed their doses as of September 8, while 84.21 percent of the eligible population or 8,262,558 individuals have already received their first vaccine shot.

“Administering [the] first dose of the vaccine is crucial, but approximately a month from now, since most of the COVID-19 shots have a three to four-week interval from the first shot, those who got their first jabs will eventually complete their vaccination,” Ablalos said.

“By next month (Oct. 8), we are expecting that we will reach 77.57 percent or 7,601,685 of the total eligible population in the metro to be fully vaccinated. The more people who complete their inoculation, the sooner we can achieve population protection,” he added.

Abalos further explained that with AstraZeneca’s 12-week interval between its required doses, at least 87 percent of the eligible population in the NCR will be vaccinated in 3 months, not later than Dec. 8.

Meanwhile, the entire Metro Manila remains under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until September 15.

Metro Manila was supposed to shift to the more lenient general community quarantine starting Wednesday, Sept. 8, until Sept. 30, 2021, with “granular lockdowns,” but the government canceled its decision just a day before its implementation.

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