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Aug. 20, 2021
 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN BENHUR ABALOS METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) accepts and defers to the wisdom of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IAFT-EID) placing the National Capital Region on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) from August 21-31, 2021.

Even prior to the announcement, the Metro local government units have been imposing granular lockdowns in their respective jurisdictions.

With the MECQ classification in effect, granular lockdowns shall be intensified, with the LGUs identifying areas where there are spikes in COVID-19 cases. LGUs shall also double-up its mass testing, immediate isolation, and contact tracing to control further the transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

Today, 585,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived in the country, 79 percent of which will be distributed to 38 local government units and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; 21 percent to private companies.

This will be a great boost to our efforts of ramping up vaccination in NCR.

ON CURFEW AND PROHIBITION OF OUTDOOR EXERCISES

The imposition of unified curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. across the cities and municipality of NCR shall remain in effect until further notice.

Meanwhile, the resolution prohibiting Metro Manila residents from conducting their exercises outdoor which took effect last Aug. 9, will lapse today, August 20 as specified in the reso. Hence, outdoor exercises in NCR will be allowed for the period of MECQ starting tomorrow, August 21, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. only.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ECQ AND MECQ

During the recent implementation of the two-week ECQ period, only essential businesses are open. Authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) including workers of essential businesses are allowed to go out. Non-APOR are not allowed to go outside except for emergency purposes and accessing essential goods and services.

Unlike previous MECQ in the NCR, indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, and personal care services including beauty salons, beauty parlors, barbershops and nail spas are not allowed.

Religious gatherings shall remain online or virtual. Meanwhile, as approved by the IATF, necrological services, wakes, inurnment and funerals shall be allowed, provided the immediate family members of the deceased who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall present satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and that they fully comply with the prescribed minimum public health standards.

CLOSER COORDINATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES AND AUTHORITIES

On behalf of the Metro Manila Council, I would like to express our gratitude to Senator Richard Gordon, chairman and chief executive officer of the Philippine Red Cross, for granting our request for more COVID-19 test kits.

We also thank the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for renewing the contracts of hired contact tracers, vital to sustain our contact tracing efforts to decrease the spread of the virus.

We will coordinate and work closely with the Philippine National Police (PNP) for the strict implementation of granular lockdowns as well as observance and compliance to minimum health protocols.

We shall also request the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) to make available more hotels as standby isolation facilities as COVID cases are continuously rising and some hospitals have reached full capacities.

* IATF RESOLUTION NO. 134
             * OMNIBUS GUIDELINES ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF COMMUNITY QUARANTINE IN THE PHILIPPINES

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