Metro Manila mayors want strict GCQ in NCR after Aug. 18: Palace

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2020 02:10 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2020 02:18 AM

Metro Manila mayors want strict GCQ in NCR after Aug. 18: Palace 1
A sampaguita vendor makes a sale under the heavy rain in front of the Quiapo church in Manila on August 16, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Metro Manila mayors have recommended easing virus restrictions in the capital region, Malacañang said Monday, a day before the modified enhanced community quarantine expires.

The local chief executives in the capital were unanimous in calling for a transition to a strict general community quarantine after Aug. 18, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

"I can confirm na ang rekomendasyon ng mga mayor ay GCQ, pero yung GCQ po noong buwan pa ng Hunyo na mas mahigpit kaysa sa eventual GCQ na pinapatupad na," Roque said during a Palace press briefing.

(I can confirm that the mayors recommended for GCQ, but similar to the version implemented in June which is much stricter than the current GCQ.)

"Unanimous naman po ang recommendation ng IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) at ng mga Metro Manila mayors kay Presidente," he added.

(The IATF and Metro Manila mayors were unanimous in their recommendation.) 

Metro Manila and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were reverted to MECQ category on Aug. 4 as President Rodrigo Duterte heeded the call of exhausted health workers for a "timeout" amid the continuing surge of COVID-19 cases.

Roque earlier said that it was "highly unlikely" for the government to keep Metro Manila and neighboring economic hubs under MECQ due to depleted resources to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Duterte is set to meet virtually with members of the government's pandemic task force Monday evening, and is expected to decide on the community quarantine classifications of the capital region and nearby provinces as well.

The Philippines as of Sunday has recorded 161,253 confirmed cases of COVID-19, of which, 46,002 are active.