MANILA (UPDATED) — The mayors of Metro Manila have recommended to place the capital region under general community quarantine starting June 1, an official from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.
The Metro Manila Council, composed of the mayors of the metropolitan's 16 cities and one municipality, will submit the recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF), according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
"If ever magdyi-GCQ po tayo, eh tanggap po natin 'yan. Pero of course, may say pa rin ang ating mga mayors to lock down certain areas," Garcia told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
The official stressed locking down barangays or villages with no coronavirus cases, along with other areas with a high number of infections, is unfair to affected residents.
"Kapag yung isang barangay madaming cases, yung kabila wala naman, ba't natin idadamay?" Garcia said.
Despite the possible shift to GCQ, Garcia said the Metro Manila mayors unanimously agreed to continue the suspension of bus and jeepney public transport.
"Ang hirap i-kontrol niyan. Lalo na yung baba, sakay. 'Yung mga tao eh kung saan-saan nanaman sasakay 'yan, hind mapa-practice 'yung physical distancing," he said.
Garcia said that even if Metro Manila will shift to GCQ, residents and authorities should still practice COVID-19 policies.
"Whatever you call it -- ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), MECQ (enhanced community quarantine), GCQ -- nandoon pa rin yung CQ eh. Meaning we are still under community quarantine," he said.
The official said "this is the right time" to change the stubbornness of some Filipinos who are part of the riding public.
"Hindi na pwede kahit saan papara, sasakay ka. Pagiging spoiled na pagpara mo, 3 hakbang, bahay mo na. Hindi na pwede iyan. Kailangan pumila ka na sa mga bus stop, jeepney stop kasi mayroon na tayong tinatawag na physical distancing na 1 meter ano," he said.
Motorists and public transport drivers will not be allowed to loiter or park anywhere they like, Garcia added.
Modified coding may also be implemented, he said. When a motorist is not allowed to use his/her vehicle based on the coding scheme, but has a companion or friend with him/her, he/she will be allowed to drive that vehicle.
"Ang purpose natin dito is to maximize lahat ng gagamit sa kalsada," Garcia said.
The IATF will decide whether to adopt the recommendation of local executives.
"We still trust the wisdom of the IATF kung ano mang desisyon ang gawin nila. Naka-ready po ang NCR (National Capital Region) mayors at 100 percent na susunod kami," said Garcia.
Metro Manila is currently under modified ECQ, which is expected to end after May 31. The national government is still deliberating whether to lift or extend the measure.
Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez earlier said that based on studies of the Department of Health, the Metro Manila Council decided that areas that have recorded new cases of COVID-19.
-- With a report from Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News