Some Metro mayors oppose easing of quarantine level in PH to MGCQ starting March 1

Published February 16, 2021, 11:46 AM

by Noreen Jazul

Some Metro Manila mayors opposed the proposal of placing the entire country under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) starting March 1.

A policeman stands guard as he reminds people to observe Covid-19 coronavirus health protocol at a popular shopping market hours before Christmas eve in Manila on December 24, 2020. (Photo by STR / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

In a meeting with President Duterte on Feb. 15, Acting National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Chief Karl Chua presented his agency’s proposal to “further open the economy to MGCQ for the entire Philippines, especially NCR (National Capital Region).”

In an interview with Unang Balita, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said it’s better for Metro Manila to remain in its current quarantine status which is GCQ or General Community Quarantine.

Zamora said the main difference between the MGCQ and GCQ is that business and industries are allowed to open.

In the case of San Juan, Zamora said establishments are already able to open so he believes it’s better to remain under GCQ for his city at least.

“Mas maganda po muna manatili muna tayo sa ating kasalukuyang quarantine status tutal parating naman po ang mga bakuna (I think it’s better to stay in our current quarantine status since the vaccines are arriving anyway),” he said.

“Eleven months na po tayo nasa ilalim ng krisis na ito. Kumbaga nasa dulo na po tayo. Konting tiyaga na lang. Nakikita ko na yung linaw sa dulo ng pinagdadaanan natin (We’ve been under this crisis for 11 months already, and we’re already at the end. We just have to endure a little bit more. I can already see the light at the end of the tunnel),” he added.

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro said the decision to relax quarantine measures should be based on the data on COVID-19 cases in the country.

In an interview with Unang Balita, Teodoro said it should also be based not only on the recommendations of the economic experts but the health experts as well.

On the issue of allowing the reopening of cinemas, both mayors said they are not in favor of the move.

“Kami po sa MMC (Metro Manila Council)…ang general consensus ng majority pabor na wag muna buksan, (We at the MMC…the general consensus is we’re not in favor of opening [cinemas],” Zamora said.

Teodoro said: “Ako’y tumutol kaya kahapon [Feb. 15] naglabas ako ng executive order, inexercise ko yung local general welfare clause (I’m against it. That’s why I issued an executive order yesterday. I exercised the local general welfare clause.”

Under Teodoro’s EO, the reopening of cinemas. arcades, and similar establishments is suspended.