Residents of Metro Manila will see some relief from one of the world’s longest lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the stories making the headlines on ANC today:
President Duterte announced the national capital region will be placed under the less-strict general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1. Earlier, Interior Sec. Eduardo Ano, head of the inter-agency task force against COVID-19, said Metro Manila under GCQ will mean movement between cities will be restricted to essential travel. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Metro Manila is ready for the GCQ. All this despite COVID-19 cases increasing to at 15,588 with the single biggest daily increase on Wednesday. Also, researchers from the University of the Philippines said implementing a GCQ for high-risk areas like Metro Manila is too soon.
The IATF is encouraging the use of bicycles as the primary form of transport once areas come under GCQ. In a hearing on Wednesday, the Senate talked about a price freeze on bicycles and incentives for employees who bike to work (BTW). But infrastructure for cycling in Metro Manila is sorely lacking.
Illegal Chinese clinics
Illegal clinics servicing Chinese, mostly to test for COVID-19, have been sprouting up. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) have been tasked to hunt down these. On Wednesday, two Chinese were arrested in a raid on another illegal medical facility in Angeles City, Pampanga. And another such facility was spotted in Paranaque.
Education from the boob tube
The Palace said private media companies will be tapped to air educational content for the coming school year. Roque said parents should enroll their kids on June 1. This, despite the President announced that he would not allow classes to start without a COVID-19 vaccine.
Hope amid chaos
While joining Project Ugnayan’s relief efforts for families impacted by the coronavirus, Xyza Bacani saw and captured many “pockets of kindness.” The critically-acclaimed photographer wants others to see the hope reflected on her subject’s faces.