Metro Manila mayors to meet on lockdown recommendations on Aug. 16

Aleta Nieva-Nishimori, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 15 2020 03:22 PM

Traffic flows freely along EDSA southbound approaching Cubao, Quezon City on August 4, 2020 on the first day of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Metro Manila Council (MMC) will meet Sunday night to discuss its recommendations on whether to retain or downgrade the lockdown status in the National Capital Region, its chairman Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivares said.

This, ahead of Malacañang's expected announcement Monday night on the lockdown status in Metro Manila and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, as the prevailing modified enhanced community quarantine is set to lapse on August 18.

The rest of the country is under more relaxed quarantine restrictions.

The Inter-Agency Task Force will make the final recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte, Olivares said in an interview on ABS-CBN's Teleradyo. 

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

“Ang MMC recommendatory lang po 'yan at ang IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) ang magbibigay ng rekomendasyon sa ating mahal na presidente,” said Olivares.

(MMC is a recommendatory body and it is the IATF will still give its recommendations to the president.)

Olivares said metro mayors know that the economy is struggling but they couldn't just sacrifice health protocols needed to curb further spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

With the MECQ set to lapse in a few days, Olivarez pointed out that it is still too soon to see gains from the stricter lockdown. The President had restored the quarantine level in the metro and surrounding provinces on the request of exhausted health workers as COVID-19 cases surged.

“Ito pa 'yung resulta nung ating GCQ kasi ‘di pa natin makikita in 11 days 'yung pagbabago kasi ang incubation ng virus is 14 days,” he said.

(This is still the result of the GCQ, it’s too soon to see results in 11 days because the virus incubation period is 14 days.). 

He said local governments continue to enforce discipline by imposing fines, requiring community service, or detaining those found violating health protocols. 

“Sa aming pagpupulong, ang umiiral talaga 'yun pong buhay, 'yun pong pangunahing binibigyan natin ng prayoridad, 'yun pong buhay, kalusugan ng bawat isa, pero 'yung ekonomiya binabalanse po 'yan,” he said.

(What is prevailing in our meetings is that we give priority to the life and health of every person. We balance that with the economy.) 

If the President decides to downgrade the lockdown to general quarantine, health protocols, including the use of face masks and face shields, and physical distancing, must be strictly followed.

“Kung mag-GCQ tayo, ating i-implement ang health protocol talaga—pagsusuot ng face mask, social distancing at starting today ma-implement ang pagsusuot ng face shield sa lahat ng businesses, mga empleyado po nila, at sa lahat ng sasakay ng public utility vehicle,” said Olivares.

(If GCQ is imposed, we will implement health protocols—wearing of face masks and social distancing, and starting today, the implementation of wearing of face shields for employees and those taking public utility vehicles.)

As of Friday, the Philippines has recorded a total of 153,660 COVID-19 cases, including 6,216 new infections. Of the total, 71,405 have recovered while 2,442 died.

“Kailangan disiplina sa taumbayan. 'Yung virus wala pong isip 'yan, di naman naglalakad. Ang tao po ang naglalakad,” he said.

(We need discipline. The virus does not have a mind of its own, it does not walk. It’s the people who walk.)