'Please huwag kayong magalit': MMDA says no advance notice on granular lockdowns

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 17 2021 09:25 AM | Updated as of Sep 17 2021 04:22 PM

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MANILA—Granular lockdowns will be implemented without prior notice, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said Friday, as the capital region shifted to a new level alert system.

MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said giving warning to residents might defeat the purpose of the localized restrictions aimed at halting transmission of COVID-19.

"Kung ia-announce natin na magla-lockdown, talagang mag-uuwian at talagang magspre-spread po lahat ito," he told Teleraydo.

(If we would announce there would be a lockdown, they will surely leave the area and [the virus] will only spread.)

Metro Manila is under Alert Level 4 in a 5-tier system, which government hopes will boost business activity while keeping the spread of COVID-19 in check. The new scheme is being piloted in the region and may be replicated in other parts of the country if it proves successful.

Abalos appealed for understanding from the public.

"Please lang po huwag kayong magagalit sa mga mayor ninyo. Talagang ito'y estrikto nating ipinatutupad. Ito'y para sa ating lahat," he said.

(Please don't be mad at your mayors. This will be implemented strictly. It's for all of us.)
 
DILG SAYS WARNING UP TO LGUs 

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Video courtesy of PTV 

At least 57 Metro Manila "critical areas" are under granular lockdown, said Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya.

"Kung minsan po ang ginagawa ng mga LGUs para hindi umalis at lumipat ng ibang bahay ‘yong mga ila-lock down ay kaagad-agad nilang nila-lock down ‘yong lugar," he said in a televised public briefing. 

"We leave it now to the discretion of the local government unit kung sila ba ay biglang magla-lock down lamang or magbibigay sila ng advance warning sa mga lugar na ito," added the official.

Under the new guidelines, granular lockdowns will be imposed in an area for 14 days to give way to mass testing, contact-tracing, and isolation.

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who chairs the Metro Manila Council, had said a street could be locked down if it had 2 cases of COVID-19.
 

63 PCT FULLY VACCINATED

In the Teleradyo interview, Abalos said that Metro Manila had so far administered over 14 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Of the figure, 8 million or 86 percent of the population have received first dose while 6.2 million or 63 percent are fully vaccinated.

Abalos hopes that by Oct. 16, about 7.7 million or 80 percent of the region are fully inoculated.

Restaurants, salons and other small businesses in Metro Manila reopened on Thursday after being shut for weeks, as the government shifts to localized lockdowns from wide-scale mobility controls in a bid to revive the pandemic-hit economy.

Outdoor dining is allowed at 30 percent capacity, while indoor dining is limited to small groups of fully immunized people. Religious gatherings and personal care services are allowed also at up to 30 percent of the capacity of the venue.

The Philippines, which is fighting one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, recorded 21,261 new infections on Thursday, with confirmed cases at 2.3 million. Its death toll climbed by 277 to more than 36,000 overall.

It reported its biggest increase of 26,303 new infections last Saturday.

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—With a report from Reuters