Will Metro Manila shift to GCQ? Palace says decision still based on science

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 25 2020 05:09 PM

Bikers traverse Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City on May 21, 2020 amid the modified enhanced community quarantine. Utilization of bikes are increasing with the lack of mass transportation available for permitted workers under community quarantine. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The government's pandemic task force will base on science in deciding if the community quarantine in Metro Manila will be further relaxed by June, Malacañang said Monday after mayors said they support scaling down of restrictions.

The majority of mayors in the National Capital Region favor a transition to a general community quarantine (GCQ) by June, Parañaque Mayor and Metro Manila Council chairman Edwin Olivarez had said.

"Well, siyensiya po ang magiging basehan natin," Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

(Science will be our basis.)

"Paulit-ulit ko pong sinasabi, iyong doubling rate ng COVID-19 kung patuloy pong bumagal at iyong ating kapasidad to provide critical care capacity at siyempre iyong concern sa ekonomiya. So antayin na lang po natin ang magiging desisyon ng IATF, ilang tulog na lang naman po iyan," he added.

(I keep on saying that the doubling rate of COVID-19 cases, the capacity to provide critical care, and economic concerns will be our basis. Let's wait for the IATF decision.)

Metro Manila on May 16 transitioned to a more relaxed modified enhanced community quarantine after a 2-month strict lockdown, as the government slowly reopened the economy hurt by the pandemic. The modified ECQ is set to expire on May 31.

The public was also allowed to return to work in select industries despite warnings from health experts that the lack of mass testing can lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases.