Metro Manila mayors express support in easing quarantine restrictions to prop up economy

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Image source: ABS-CBN News

Some Metro Manila mayors favor the relaxing of quarantine restrictions in the metropolis after May 31 to jumpstart the economy.

Parañaque mayor and chairman of the Metro Manila Council Edwin Olivarez claims that the National Capital Region is now ready to be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ). There is only one week left before the modified enhanced community quarantine expires.

The Metro Manila Council, composed of all mayors of the 16 capital cities and the municipality of Pateros, is scheduled to meet on May 27, Wednesday. The Council’s agenda is to come up with a united recommendation on what to do next with the community quarantine status in the area.

“Ibabalanse natin eh. Mai-open natin ang economy, at the same time, hindi natin nape-prejudice ang ating healthcare,” Olivarez said. “‘Yung sa aming report ng aming city health office, itong past 10 days halos nagfa-flatten kami.”

[We will balance it. We will open our economy, while at the same time ensuring that it will not prejudice our healthcare. In our city health office’s report, our (COVID-19 curve) is almost flattening these past 10 days.]

Both Valenzuela mayor Rex Gatchalian and Navotas mayor Toby Tiangco seconded Olivarez’s view, adding that they’re already preparing for Metro Manila’s possible transition to GCQ.

Gatchalian also iterated that the metro will need constant testing, tracing and isolating so the reopening of the economy won’t mean spreading of the virus.

San Juan City mayor Francis Zamora on the other hand, expressed caution, noting it might be better for the modified ECQ to be extended for another two weeks to see if the downward trend in COVID-19 cases is sustained.

earlier mentioned the possibility of targeted lockdowns after May 31, with only certain zones — instead of whole cities — being placed under community quarantine.

Olivarez is also considering the possibility of targeted lockdowns after May 31, as mentioned by COVID-19 response chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr.. “Hindi dapat ‘yung buong city mag-sacrifice kasi wala nang cases doon sa iba-iba nating barangays sa area. Kung saan na lang merong cases at clustering, ‘yun na lang ang ating i-ECQ.”

[The whole city should not be sacrificed, because there are no more cases in other barangays in the area. Where there remains to be cases and clustering, that’s only where we should implement the ECQ.]

Metro Manila, along with Bataan, Bulacan, Laguna, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Zambales, has been placed under the modified ECQ until the end of May. Meanwhile, Cebu City and Mandaue City continue to be under the stricter ECQ.

The rest of the country is now under general community quarantine.

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