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PRESS RELEASE
February 15, 2021
PR-21-02-016
 

MMDA: Metro Manila Mayors Push for Gradual Reopening of Economy

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the Metro Manila mayors support the reopening of the economy affected by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic but want it “gradually.”

“There should be a calibration of both the health and the economic teams with the local government units and all affected sectors,” said MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, in a press briefing held in MMDA today.

“We are one with the economic team in the reopening of business activities but we cannot do it hastily. It should be gradual. We need to help each other here,” he added.

According to Abalos, the Metro Manila mayors, which compose the Metro Manila Council, have one voice in the fight against COVID-19.

“If you open the economy, we also need to factor in safeguards. It is a big challenge for the government to help the economy going while keeping the people safe and healthy. The Metro Manila mayors play a big role in this issue,” said Abalos. “What is important is we act as one. What is important is unity.”

Abalos said he is set to meet with the National Capital Region (NCR) chief executives on Monday night.

We cannot allow the government’s gains in controlling the spread of the virus be put to waste. We must balance the economy and health for everyone’s safety,” Abalos added.

At present, the Metro Manila mayors are crafting a recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on the planned resumption of the cinema operations in areas under the general community quarantine, Abalos said.

“But whatever will be the final decision, we shall ask the Metro Manila mayors to prepare guidelines or the implementing rules and regulations (IRR),” the MMDA Chairman said.

In the crafting of guidelines, factors to be considered are the observance of physical distancing, seating capacity of the cinemas, use of air-conditioned units, bringing in of food, temperature inside the cinema, contact tracing, etc.

The MMC, governing body and policy-making body of the MMDA, is composed of the 17 mayors in Metro Manila and representatives from national government agencies.

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