Mayors want Metro Manila to remain under GCQ until yearend

MANILA. In this photo taken in April 2020, a reminder stands beside a long line of people wearing protective masks outside a supermarket during a community quarantine to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Manila. (File Photo)

METRO Manila mayors have recommended the extension of general community quarantine (GCQ) in their areas until the end of 2020, according to Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Jojo Garcia.

But they have agreed to shorten curfew hours to 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. from the previous 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., except in Navotas City which requested to retain its curfew hours, Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said Monday, October 19, 2020.

Año stressed, however, that no Christmas parties would be allowed.

Instead of the allowed 15 to 65 age range outside their homes, only those 18 to 65 will be allowed to go out in Metro Manila, Año added.

Garcia of MMDA said the mayors want to gradually ease quarantine restrictions to avoid another wave of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.

“Yung ginawa po natin d'yan na plano is GCQ hanggang end of the year kasi sabi po ng mga mayors natin mas madali 'yung magluwag unti-unti kesa MGCQ kaagad na 100 percent, saka tayo magbabawas,” he said.

(We have drawn up a plan for GCQ until the end of the year because the mayors believe it would be easier to ease restrictions gradually than shift to MGCQ immediately.)

“Ibig sabihin, gradual po lahat ng increase depende po sa sitwasyon. At nakita naman po natin lahat po ng hiniling ng economic team binibigay ng NCR mayors,” he added.

(Everything will be done gradually. Our mayors have been complying with the requests of the economic team.)

Año expressed support for the recommendation, saying this would allow the government to sustain its gains in the fight against the virus.

Even while under GCQ, Metro Manila mayors have vowed to further ease quarantine restrictions gradually to support efforts to reopen the economy.

“Unang-una maganda ‘yung numero natin pero pag hindi naman natin binantayan pwedeng mag-spike uli, alam mo naman magki-Christmas season ngayon ang gusto ng mga tao magsaya, magparty. Pagka kasi pinayagan mo ‘yung ganun sayang lahat ng pinaghirapan natin ano, magkakaroon ng spike,” Año said in a television interview.

(Our numbers have improved. But if we don’t watch out, these could spike again. Christmas is approaching and people want to party. But if we allow this, the gains we have achieved would be erased and the numbers would spike again.)

“So mas maganda na i-maintain mo ‘yung GCQ tapos niluluwagan mo unti-unti para makasuporta sa ekonomiya kesa naman ‘yung ibinigay mo at ibinuhos mo na lahat ng luwag at saka ka maghihigpit. Probably sa ibang areas okay yun ano pero sa Metro Manila ‘wag na muna,” he added.

(It would be better to maintain the GCQ and gradually ease restrictions in support of the economy rather that ease restrictions and then tighten them again.)

During President Rodrigo Duterte's weekly public address over Covid-19 issues on Monday, October 19, 2020, Año said Metro Manila mayors have agreed to adjust curfew hours from to 12 midnight to 4 a.m., except in Navotas City.

“Dati po ay 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., ngayon po ay magiging 12 to 4 a.m. na lang po, 12 midnight to 4 a.m., except po ‘yung Navotas kasi ‘yung Navotas nag-request po na mag-retain muna dahil gusto niyang masigurado po muna ‘yung kanyang Covid cases doon at para tuloy-tuloy na lalo pang gumanda ‘yung sitwasyon doon,” said Año.

(Curfew used to be from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Now, it’s 12 midnight to 4 a.m., except in Navotas City which wants to make sure Covid cases will remain low.)

He also said the conduct of Catholic Masses will be allowed up to only 30 percent of a church’s capacity. (SunStar Philippines)


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