April 28, 2021
MMC to Defer to the President's Decision on Next Quarantine Status;
Approves New Unified Curfew Hours Beginning May 1
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) will defer to the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on the next quarantine status for the National Capital Region starting May 1.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the concurrent MMC chair, said the council will just wait for the President's announcement on the next quarantine status to be implemented in NCR.
“The MMC just recommends to the IATF. Hence, it is within the purview of President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the next NCR status,” Abalos stressed.
According to Abalos, the Metro Manila mayors voted on three proposed quarantine classifications: enhanced community quarantine, modified enhanced community quarantine and what they called “hybrid” or "flex" modified enhanced community quarantine with additional economic and business activities to be classified and approved by the Department of Trade and Industry. Their recommendation was already submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
According to the MMDA chief, the third option, hybrid or flex MECQ, was proposed by Department of Health Usec. Ma. Rosario Vergeire.
"Hybrid MECQ is intended to allay the fear of health workers for a possible surge again. That's why we want to do it gradually. By opening some businesses, we are also addressing the dilemma and hunger of those who lost their jobs," Abalos explained.
"The recommendation was based on data presented by health experts and also from NEDA as presented by Sec. Karl Chua. Through hybrid MECQ, we are hitting the middle ground. There will still be strict border controls to avoid transmission, but at the same time there will also be additional economic activities."
While all the Metro Manila mayors have agreed not to disclose their recommendation, Abalos also assured that they are ready for whatever quarantine status to be imposed, advising the public to strictly adhere to minimum health standards to further prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“All the 17 local chief executives in Metro Manila are ready to implement any community quarantine status, whether it is to ease the quarantine restrictions or extend the modified enhanced community quarantine,” he added.
"The mayors don't want the gains of ECQ and MECQ to be put into waste especially since we've seen the downward trend on the growth rate. We are hoping that we can sustain it by our continued unified efforts," Abalos said.
NCR Plus bubble, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, has been placed on MECQ until April 30.
Meanwhile, Abalos announced that Metro Manila mayors, through Resolution 21-09 Series of 2021, have unanimously agreed to adjust curfew hours starting May 1. New unified curfew hours will be from 10 pm to 4 am.
"All local chief executives in Metro Manila have agreed to enact their respective Executive Orders and/or adopt their respective Ordinances for the proper implementation of the standardized and unified curfew hours," the resolution stated.
The resolution was approved and signed by 17 local chief executives of Metro Manila on April 27.
To recall, the MMC decided to implement unified curfew hours from 8pm to 5am starting April 12 until the end of MECQ on April 30.
The MMC, comprised of the 17 LGUs of Metro Manila, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.
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