Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos raised the possibility of a two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the so-called “NCR-plus” during a radio interview Sunday, March 28, before quickly saying that he hopes it doesn’t come to pass.
“Anyway one week naman ito. Baka mamaya hindi mo masabi baka mag-two weeks pa nga eh, kung ano…pero ‘wag naman sana, hindi naman sana (Anyway this will last one week. But who knows, it may become two weeks if ever…but I hope not, I hope it doesn’t happen),” Abalos said over DZBB radio.
On Saturday, March 27, Malacañang announced that the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal would be placed under an ECQ from Holy Monday, March 29, to Easter Sunday, April 4.
This move came amid the recent spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, particularly in Metro Manila or NCR.
Abalos’s remark prompted radio anchor Orly Trinidad to ask for a clarification on whether or not the former thinks the week-long ECQ would be have to be extended to two weeks.
“It will be the IATF that will really decide here because you also have to calibrate hindi lang naman yung health, kasama na rin yung ekonomiya mo (you also have to calibrate the health and economic aspects). Dapat balansyado rin naman tayo (We should balance those),” the MMDA chief replied.
The IATF refers to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
“Ang goal ay simple; ang goal ay wag ganito kalaki ang laki ng dumadating ngayon para makahinga ang ating ospital. Once makahinga ang ating ospital…maibaba natin ito (The goal is simple; it is to lessen the number of infections so that our ospitals could breath. Once our hospitals get a break…we can reduce the cases),” Abalos said.