The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) the extension of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) until the end of the year.
The MMC, the policy-making body of the MMDA is composed of 17 mayors in the NCR.
“All our mayors agreed to recommend to the IATF to extend GCQ until December 31. It is easy to adjust gradually while under GCQ,” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jose Arturo Garcia disclosed during a virtual press conference Monday, October 19.
“Mas mahirap na i-Modified General Community Quarantine or MGCQ na 100 percent tsaka mo babawasan, magkakaroon ng resistance iyan, mahirap i-control. Unlike GCQ tayo tapos gradually tayo nag-a-adjust ng mga capacity. This is the better move para tumakbo ang ekonomiya natin (It is hard to place NCR 100 percent under MGCQ. Then if you decrease the quarantine level, there will be resistance. That’s hard to control. Unlike when we are still under GCQ and we gradually adjust the capacity. This move is better to help our economy),” Garcia explained.
NCR is currently under GCQ until the end of October.
The MMC also suggested that curfew in Metro Manila be shortened from the current 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Garcia said this is also the recommendation of the economic team in order to boost the economy which was badly affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is for our economy, for our establishments to earn more. More people are expected to dine at restaurants due to the change in the curfew hours,” he said.
“All the mayors agreed to this. Of course, health protocols must be strictly observed at such establishments,” Garcia added.
The mayors likewise agreed to allow persons aged 18 to 65 outside their homes..
“Our mayors pointed out that individuals aged 18 are the ones who are allowed to work, therefore, they are not out of their houses for leisure. Those below the said age are more prone to go out their houses just for leisure,” Garcia explained.
Garcia said there is still nothing definite about the traditional “Simbang Gabi.”
“There are recommendations to adjust the curfew during the start of ‘Simbang Gabi’ to 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. But, this is not yet final. It is too early to talk about this. We will release a guideline by the end of November,” he said.