Three northern Metro Manila mayors are not in favor of easing the National Capital Region’s (NCR) quarantine status due to post-holiday coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surge, among other reasons.
As NCR mayors are set on Tuesday evening to discuss their recommendation on the region’s quarantine status for next month, the local chief executives of Navotas, Valenzuela, and Caloocan cities said they want to extend the current general community quarantine (GCQ) status in Metro Manila.
“We hope to get the opinion of the Philippine Pediatric Society first because it’s still risky to relax the quarantine status because of the new virus variant,” Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco told DZBB radio interview in Filipino.
“While we understand that easing of quarantine rules will boost the economy… we also don’t want to see a rise in the number of new infections and end up being under stricter quarantine measures again,” he added, citing reasons why he is still not in favor of placing NCR under relaxed or modified GCQ.
Tiangco said they will consider the recommendations of both economy and health experts, although he pointed out that if the government allows relaxed quarantine rules, which includes allowing minors to go to malls, then it means, going to malls is more valuable than going to schools as face-to-face classes are still suspended.
“What value will it teach our children?” he asked.
Meanwhile, both Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian and Caloocan Mayor Oca Malapitan cited a post-holiday COVID-19 surge in their respective cities as the reason they were against MGCQ.
“Our health experts in Valenzuela are hoping to maintain the current status because they believe that we are not yet stable and we are just done with the holiday,” Gatchalian said.
“In fact, we experience a slight jump in our new COVID-19 cases after the new year,” he added. Gatchalian’s concern was also raised by Malapitan.
Gatchalian noted that the government should be able to “control” and “stabilize” the current COVID-19 situation in the NCR first before relaxing the quarantine status.