MANILA - Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III on Wednesday said he favors a "modified" lockdown extension in Metro Manila and other worst-hit areas by the COVID-19 after Luzon's enhanced community quarantine ends on April 30.
Sotto cited recommendations from medical experts and former Cabinet officials in a meeting with government executives last Monday.
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to decide Thursday on the fate of Luzon's lockdown. He initially placed Metro Manila under an enhanced community quarantine on March 15, and later expanded the measure to the entire island.
"Ang inaasahan ko at sana ay mangyari ay modified. Meaning iyong mga biggest-hit na areas katulad ng NCR (National Capital Region) eh hindi pwede i-lift, kailangan i-extend pero may modifications," he told radio DZMM.
"Tapos 'yung iba namang areas na hindi naman talaga apektado masyado, may mga probinsiya na wala eh. Yung mga areas na 'yun, enhanced social or safe distancing."
Sotto said most medical experts believe cases of COVID-19 in the country will spike if the lockdown was lifted abruptly.
"Medyo mabigat 'yung narinig namin dun. Karamihan nandudoon sa paniniwala na kapag basta ni-lift mo ito magi-spike. Ang hitsura ng graph natin ngayon nagplateau...Nagplateau lang di pa bumababa. Ang kaba nila pag naglift nationwide siguradong aakyat," he said.
"Mas mabuti pang tama yung ipostpone muna. Hindi dapat magkaroon ng spike, sooner or later magkakaroon ng vaccine dito. Bakit natin hahayaang mag-spike eh pwede namang huwag sapagkat maraming mamatay kapag ganoon."
The Philippines as of Tuesday confirmed 437 deaths and 654 recoveries out of its total 6,599 cases of the novel coronavirus.