MMDA: NCR qualified for Alert Level 1
MANILA (UPDATE)— Metro Manila mayors have urged the inter-agency task force (IATF) to place the capital region under Alert Level 1 beginning March 1, as new COVID-19 cases continue to drop, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Wednesday.
A resolution was unanimously passed by the mayors in Metro Manila regarding the matter, said MMDA General Manager Romando Artes.
"Ang ibig sabihin po nito, minumunkahi po ng Metro Manila council sa IATF na ibaba na po o ide-escalate ang alert level status ng NCR sa Alert Level 1," Artes said in a press briefing.
He added that the local chief executives are prepared to implement the loosest lockdown level, noting that the region is already "qualified" to be placed under it.
They also believe that the IATF would heed their recommendation on the matter.
"Actually qualified na po tayo na magbaba sa Alert Level 1... pero dahil hiniling ng Metro Manila Council na ilagay sa Alert Level 2 (noong February), tayo naman po ay pinagbigyan," he said.
"Sa tingin po namin, handa ang mga Metro Manila mayors, mga LGUs na ipatupad ang mga protocols under Alert Level 1," he added.
Last week, Malacañang said they are "finalizing" the road map regarding the loosest lockdown restriction.
Authorities earlier said that the alert level, also considered as the shift to a "new normal," would mean the removal of restrictions in establishments and public transport.
This means that stores and public transport in the areas under Alert Level 1 can operate at 100 percent capacity.
Under Alert Level 1, intrazonal and interzonal travel would be allowed despite age and comorbidity, according to the Department of Health (DOH) website.
All establishments and activities, meanwhile, will be permitted to operate "full on-site or venue/seating capacity," the DOH said.
The public may also still be required to wear anti-virus masks and observe physical distancing, according to Malacañang.
The Philippines logged 1,019 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the lowest daily tally since Dec. 29.
It is the 4th straight day that the daily tally remained below 2,000 and the 4th consecutive day it broke the record for fewest new cases, the group said.
The capital region's positivity rate is also at 4.9 percent, less than the 5 percent World Health Organization's benchmark, according to independent research group OCTA.
The country saw a surge in new infections beginning late December until January due to the omicron variant.