MANILA- Malacañang said Thursday it was confident that Filipinos would still observe COVID-19 precautionary measures even if the government relaxes community quarantine protocols across the country.
The government's pandemic task force has recommended a shift to the general community quarantine in Metro Manila by June 1 from the prevailing modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) and a further relaxation of restrictions for the rest of the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte will decide on the recommendation on Thursday night.
There is a "very high" level of confidence in Filipinos' adherence to COVID-19 protocols, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.
"The level of confidence is very high. Unang-una napatunayan ng mga Pilipino na kaya nilang sumunod dahil naman, by and large, itong more than 70 days na tayong nagkaroon ng ECQ and MECQ," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
(Filipinos have showed that they can follow protocols because, by and large, we have been on lockdown for more than 70 days already.)
"Pinatunayan po natin na disiplinado po ang mga Pilipino," he added.
(We have shown that Filipinos are disciplined.)
Recent COVID-19 data showed that the National Capital Region is "ready" to transition to a GCQ, Roque said.
"Well NCR is ready based on the data we've seen but that really depends on the cooperation of everyone," Roque said.
It can be recalled that last month, Roque said violators of quarantine protocols should be ashamed of themselves.
"Dapat tayong mga Pilipino mahiya dahil nagpapakita tayo ng walang disiplina eh samantalang ginagawa naman po natin ito dahil nais nating maiwasan magkasakit ang ating mga kababayan," he said on April 16.
(We Filipinos should be ashamed for showing how undisciplined we are when we are just doing this so that our countrymen won't get sick.)
As of Wednesday, COVID-19 cases in the Philippines have reached 15,049 after the Department of Health reported 380 new cases.
This is the highest number of new cases in 51 days since the 414 new cases reported on April 6. The figure includes 904 deaths and 3,506 recoveries.