By Jean Fernando
Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez is supporting the call of some local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in metropolis come May 15.
“I’m joining other LGUs of Metro Manila to possibly extend the ECQ rather than gamble into downgrading to general community quarantine (GCQ) come May 15,” said Olivarez who is the incumbent chairman of the Metro Manila Council (MMC).
MMC is the policy-making body of the Metro Manila Development Authority. It approves metrowide plans, programs and projects and issues rules, regulations and resolutions deemed necessary by the MMDA.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque the other day announced that (LGUs) have asked the national government to place their areas under ECQ.
Roque did not identify the LGUs, but said the requests were discussed during the meetings of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
He said that the committee is mandated to come up with a process with regard to appealing or validating decisions on declaring areas under ECQ or whether they should be downgraded to GCQ.
Under ECQ, mass transportation is prohibited and only essential businesses and services are allowed to operate.
Areas with low to moderate risks may shift to the more relaxed general community quarantine or GCQ.
Under GCQ, some forms of mass transport and establishments are allowed to resume operations but at a reduced capacity.
Olivarez, who is also chairman of the Regional Peace and Order Council-National Capital Region (RPOC–NCR), said that if upon the assessment of the health authorities that this current trend of the COVID -9 virus is “still of dangerous tendencies and magnitude, I will backing the extension ECQ in the metropolis.”
“When ECQ will be lifted, everything is back to normal. There is still a big possibility that there is a lot of COVID-19,” the mayor explained.
He reminded Metro Manila residents that the hospital bill of a COVID patient reaches P600,000 to P1 million while cremation is P30 million.
The Department of Health has accounted for 67 percent of confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the National Capital region.