Some NCR mayors favor downgrading to Alert Level 3 amid declining COVID-19 cases
MANILA, Philippines — Some Metro Manila mayors are in favor of downgrading the alert level in the National Capital Region from Alert Level 4 to 3 amid declining COVID-19 cases.
Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno, Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos, and San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora on Wednesday said they are in favor of lowering the alert status in Metro Manila.
“Yes as far as [M]anila is [concerned] nasa manageable situation ang infection namin (our infections are manageable) and with regard to our capacity sa mga (in our) health facility, stable naman. [W]e need to open up to move forward, [COVID-19] will continue to stay but we must [learn] how to live with it and go back to work safely,” Moreno told INQUIRER.net in a message.
Moreno lamented the limitations and challenges that the public face due to the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the people should move forward.
“Hirap na buhay ng tao, patuloy ang pagtaas ng pangunahin bilihin, makabalik na sa eskwelahan unti-unti ang mga bata, marami na rin nagugutom at nawalan ng trabaho kaya dapat buksan na natin ang komersyo ng makapagbigay ito ng opurtunidad na makapag hanapbuhay muli ang tao,” Moreno noted.
(The people are suffering, prices of basic commodities continue to increase, children should return to school, many people are hungry and have lost their jobs, that’s why we need to open our commerce to give work opportunities.)
“At the same time we must continue to strengthen our health care system para patuloy na magpaghandaan natin ang anuman bigla o paglaki ng impeksyon. We must always move forward with due [diligence] at mablis ang kilos. May awa ang Diyos makakaraos at malalagpasan din natin ito,” he went on.
(At the same time we must continue to strengthen our health care system so we can prepare for a sudden spike of infections. We must always move forward with due diligence and move fast to overcome this.)
Abalos likewise wanted to have the alert status relaxed.
“Yes, [I] am in favor to lowering the alert level… due to lowering of cases here in Mandaluyong,” Abalos shared in a text message.
Zamora also pushed shifting to Alert Level 3, noting the city’s 69-percent “huge decline” in its active cases which is only 348 as of Tuesday.
“Due to this development, I am thus in favor of shifting the status of NCR to Alert Level 3 which will pave the way for the gradual reopening of our economy for as long as all minimum public health standards are followed,” Zamora said in a statement.
“By doing so, operational capacity will thereby be increased, and certain businesses that were not allowed to operate before will [now] be permitted provided that they are not high risk in nature,” he added.
Zamora also advised his constituents to not be complacent and to continue observing minimum public health standards.
“We can win this fight against COVID-19 by reviving the economy and at the same time keeping our people safe and healthy,” Zamora said.
Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco, meanwhile, said that the local government is ready should data show restrictions could be eased in NCR.
“If data will show we can go down to Level 3 much better for all and we are ready for the adjustment,” Tiangco said in a text message.
For her part, Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano said that she will follow the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases as she believes they are studying the matter and will determine what is best for the majority.
Currently, Metro Manila is under Alert Level 4 until October 15.
Alert Level 4, the second strictest alert status, is raised in areas with high and/or rising COVID-19 transmission and high total bed and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates.
Meanwhile, areas with high or increasing COVID-19 transmission and increasing total bed and ICU utilization rates are placed under Alert Level 3.
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