MANILA (UPDATE) - Quarantine passes will no longer be needed as the capital region shifts to a "heightened" modified enhanced community quarantine starting Saturday, Aug. 21, the chairman of the Metro Manila Council said Friday.
"Ang pagkakaiba ngayon hindi na namin i-implement ang ating quarantine pass," MMC chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez told Teleradyo.
(The difference now is we will not implement anymore the quarantine pass.)
Metro Manila will be under the second strictest level of quarantine for the rest of August to curb the spread of COVID-19 linked to the more contagious Delta variant.
The capital region is still under enhanced community quarantine, the strictest lockdown measure, until Friday, Aug. 20.
Under "heightened" MECQ, Olivarez said indoor and al-fresco dine-in services, and personal care services would still be prohibited while religious gatherings would remain virtual.
The nightly curfew of 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. remains in place to limit the movement of some 13 million people in the capital, he said.
The imposition of liquor ban is also left up to the decision of various local government units, Olivarez added.
For the rest of the month, he said mayors would implement strict granular lockdowns in a bid to halt the COVID-19 transmission.
"'Yung ating mga clustering ay hindi po 'yung buong barangay. Kundi particular lang 'yung kalsada, building na puwede po nating i-lockdown para ma-contain ang COVID na ito," he said.
(Our clustering will not be the whole village. But only particular areas such as a street or building to contain COVID.)
Olivarez also bared that the government would not anymore give a fresh round of financial assistance to low-income families.
"'Yung MECQ po hindi po talaga magkakaroon kasi hirap na po talaga ang gobyerno talaga," he said.
(Under MECQ, there will be no more [cash aid] because the government is really struggling.)
He said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the government’s leading task force against the pandemic, had a close vote on whether to downgrade or retain the restrictions in the capital region.
"Sa pagkakaalam ko, first time itong IATF na nag-close voting sila. Talagang mixed po 'yung kanilang recommendation po kay Presidente," he said.
(From what I know, this is the first that the IATF had a close vote. Their recommendation to President [Rodrigo Duterte] was mixed.)
While Metro Manila was placed under ECQ early this month, Olivarez said 70 percent of its adult population had received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine while 50 percent were fully vaccinated.
Up to 70 percent of poor families in the capital have also received the pandemic assistance, he said. The distribution of ECQ aid will continue until next week.
The Philippines on Thursday reported 14,895 new COVID-19 cases, pushing its caseload to 1,791,003. The tally includes 1,648,402 recoveries, 111,720 active cases and 30,881 fatalities.