MMDA’s Abalos says no curfew needed in NCR, saying residents are disciplined

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2022 04:12 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2022 05:40 PM

Up to LGUs to impose curfew for minors, Abalos says

MANILA—The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Saturday said it saw no need to impose a curfew in the National Capital Region, because residents have shown discipline in the middle of Alert Level 3.

"Nu’ng kami ang nag-usap, nakita namin sa larawan na halos 8 ng gabi halos ay sarado na ang restaurants sa mall, ang tao ay halos kakaunti na rin ang mga nasa kalye . . . Sila mismo ay disiplinado," MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said. 

(We've seen pictures that at about 8 p.m., restaurants in malls are already closed and only a few people were spotted outside their homes. They have shown discipline.)

Abalos showed some images of different malls and spaces in Metro Manila supposedly taken on Friday, which was quiet and empty.

"Napag-isipan namin na for the meantime, there’s no need for a curfew. Maski papaano, in a way, ang ating mga kababayan siguro after all these variants . . . Siguro on our own as a people, natuto na tayo when to self-regulate. Hindi mo na kailangan sabihan na huwag nang lumabas kasi alam nilang nakakahawa," he explained when asked if there were any minors caught violating curfew in Metro Manila.

(In a way, our countrymen have learned when to self-regulate as these variants emerge. You do not need to tell them when not to go out, because they know it is infectious.)

"Sa nakita namin dahil nga halos kumonti ang tao sa kalye, halos kumonti ang tao sa mall. Wala ka nang makita alas-7, alas-8." 

(We are seeing fewer people out in the streets and at malls. You can no longer see anyone around 7 p.m. or 8 p.m.)

In a phone call to ABS-CBN News, Abalos clarified that it was up to local governments to impose curfew for minors.

"There's no curfew in Metro Manila, except curfew for minors of some LGUs even before the pandemic . . . Some LGUs have, some LGUs don't have," he said. 

"There's no uniform ordinance for the minors. May autonomy ang local government units. Kanya-kanya 'yun (it is up to them) . . . It was even (that way) before the pandemic."

Abalos added that mayors in the capital region, home to some 13 million people, also decided to keep the same alert level until the end of the month because of the safe healthcare utilization rate despite the surge in cases.

The Metro Manila Council agreed on a stay-at-home policy for those who are still unvaccinated or have yet to complete the full dose against the respiratory disease. 

The capital region is experiencing a community transmission of the omicron variant, the health department earlier said. 

The Philippines is facing a fresh wave of new COVID-19 cases, just as it emerged from the holidays. On Saturday, the health department confirmed over 39,000 new cases, the highest daily tally since the pandemic began. 

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