Placing Pasay City under ECQ could paralyze the country — Mayor Rubiano

Published March 5, 2021, 2:04 PM

by Jean Fernando

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano on Friday said the proposal to place the city under the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) will affect trade activities and the movement of people not only in Metro Manila but the entire country.

Rubiano was reacting to the recommendations by some health experts, including former Inter Agency Task Force Adviser Dr. Tony Leachon, to immediately place Pasay City under the ECQ following the spike in cases and the detection of the South African (SAF) variant among its residents.

She said she would not object if the national government decides to place her city under the strictest community quarantine.

“Noong una po na napabalita na tumaas ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa aming lungsod, inihanda na naming ang aming sarili sa posibilidad na iyan. Subalit, bagamat susunod kami, ay kailangan muna sigurong pag-isipan iyan ng ating Inter-Agency Task Force,” (When the news came out on the increase in COVID-19 casesin the city, we were already prepared for that possibility. We will follow but the Inter-Agency Task Force must first think thoroughly on this), Rubiano said.

The mayor said that since the city is the travel hub in the country and placing it under ECQ could greatly restrict the movement of people and goods, this could seriously affect the country’s economy.

“Alam po natin na ang Pasay City ay travel hub at nandito po kasi ang Ninoy International Aurport (NAIA), pati na rin po ang dalawang linya ng MRT at LRT at marami rin po ang bus terminals,” (We all know that Pasay City is a travel hub. The Ninoy Aquino International Airport and the two lines of MRT and LRT are located in the city, including several bus terminals), Rubiano said.

Pasay City and the rest of Metro Manila are currently under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) where public movement is more relaxed compared to the more restrictive ECQ.

Rubiano said that under the ECQ, public transportation systems will be suspended and only businesses offering essential goods and services are allowed to operate.

“We will not object it they place us under ECQ. But I believe all other agencies will need to adjust kung ano man ang magiging epekto nito (on what will be the effect).Declaring Pasay City under ECQ is one thing, but managing it is another thing,” Rubiano said.