By Chito Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday brushed off claims that Metro Manila will be reverted to the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
Reiterating his previous calls, Año told the public not to believe the messages circulating on social media that Metro Manila be placed under ECQ on June 16.
On Saturday, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary and spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire echoed Año’s statement during her announcement of the COVID-19 cases situation in the country.
In previous interviews, Año insisted that it is up to the President whether to place Metro Manila and some other areas under any quarantine protocols as the announcement is set on June 15.
A supposed resolution on social media revealed that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management (IATF) identified areas which will be placed under ECQ, general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque stressed that the fate of community quarantine in the country is in Duterte’s hands.
Earlier, Año said that Metro Manila will most likely still be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) after June 15.
He made this assessment stressing that Metro Manila continued to compile “fresh” novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.
Año noted that although the threat has somewhat diminished, new COVID-19 cases are still recorded in the region.
The DILG chief feared that relaxing further quarantine protocols in Metro Manila may cause a resurgence of more COVID-19 cases.
“Para sa akin 50/50 pero mas lamang magreremain sa GCQ (For me it is still 50/50 but there is a stronger chance that GCQ will remain (Metro Manila),’’ Año said.
However, clarified that the final decision on whether GCQ will be extended in Metro Manila would be announced on Monday.
At present, government officials are still studying and discussing latest trends on COVID-19 cases.
Año explained the need to scrutinize all pertinent data extensively citing that the local chief executives (LCE) are consulted to gather what recommendations they may come up with.
Aside from Metro Manila, Año said the national government is also monitoring the situation in Regions II, III, IV-A and in Cebu City where there is a spike on the number of infections in the previous days.