Metro Manila mayors lean towards extending GCQ

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2020 10:41 PM

The streets in Barangay North Bay Boulevard South in Navotas City remain busy amid the city-wide lockdown on July 28, 2020. Navotas is placed under city-wide lockdown from July 16 to 29 due to the continuous rising cases of COVID-19. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Most mayors in the Philippine capital region are in favor of extending the general community quarantine (GCQ) in August, the chairman of Metro Manila Council said Wednesday.

"Pinarating namin sa aming regional director sa DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) 'yung consensus ng mga mayor na talaga pong extended GCQ ang gusto ng karamihan," Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

The Palace earlier said President Rodrigo Duterte will likely announce new community quarantine protocols on Thursday, July 30, as COVID-19 cases in the Philippines surpassed 85,000 Wednesday.

Olivarez said the local chief executives would be pushing for more localized lockdowns, which he said had been effective in arresting the spread of the virus.

"Basically katulad sa Paranaque, hindi lahat ng 16 barangays namin meron siyang critical zone. Meron kaming mga barangay na halos nagpa-plateau na po ang COVID-19 cases. Bakit isa-sacrifice ang barangay ng ibang lugar na maganda na po siya?" he said.

For Olivarez, it is important to balance opening further the economy while mitigating the COVID-19 risks.

"Alam naman natin na hirap na hirap na ang taong bayan pero we couldn't prejudiced 'yung health protocol para nga malabanan itong COVID-19," he said.

If the national government will revert Metro Manila's coronavirus restriction to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), they will follow, Olivarez said.

If Metro Manila will remain under GCQ, Olivarez said they would call for stricter implementation of health protocols such as mandatory wearing of face mask, physical distancing and curfew.

Metro Manila, the country's epicenter of the virus, has recorded 45,969 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, data from the Department of Health as of July 28 showed.

Nationwide, the Philippines has logged 85,486 COVID-19 cases, of which 56,528 are considered active. The tally includes 1,962 fatalities and 26,996 recoveries.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque had said Metro Manila would be a "living experiment" in the country's fight against COVID-19.

"Metro Manila will be a living experiment and it’s an experiment that we believe we can be successful at, and it will be something that we can be proud of," he said in an interview on CNN Philippines.

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