Alert level system in Metro Manila may be extended beyond September— official

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 23 2021 01:59 PM | Updated as of Sep 23 2021 03:37 PM

A resident interacts with relatives across a barricade on a street placed under granular lockdown in Brgy. Tejeros in Makati City on September 17, 2021. Other residents transact business, like deliveries, at the tents set up as a checkpoint for the movement of people. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
A resident interacts with relatives across a barricade on a street placed under granular lockdown in Brgy. Tejeros in Makati City on September 17, 2021. Other residents transact business, like deliveries, at the tents set up as a checkpoint for the movement of people. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA— The pilot implementation of the new alert level system with granular lockdowns in Metro Manila may be extended beyond September, an official said.

“Ang pananaw po namin baka ma-extend pa uli itong pagpa-pilot sa (National Capital Region),” Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing said in a TeleRadyo interview.

“Sa October i-extend pa natin sa NCR,” he added.

(We think we might extend the pilot-testing of the new alert level system. We might extend it to October.)

Densing said officials are also talking about the possibility of revising some of the guidelines in the implementation of the alert level system.

Under the current system, granular lockdowns are enforced in areas with high numbers of COVID-19 infections, as opposed to locking down entire provinces or regions. 

The new alert levels were introduced in a bid to spur the economy severely dragged by pandemic-forced lockdowns. 

“Magkakaroon kami ng pagpupulong sa iba-ibang ahensya dito sa sub-technical working group on data analytics. Ire-review po namin itong mga panuntunan natin doon sa pilot dito sa NCR, at sa pananaw po namin magkakaroon ng pagrerebisa,” he said.

(We will meet with the different agencies in the sub-technical working group on data analytics. We will review some of the guidelines in the pilot testing in NCR.)

Densing said they are also eyeing the pilot testing of the alert level system in areas outside Metro Manila.

“Nung Lunes po, nagsalita po ako sa ating asembliya ng provincial o local league of provincial governors at nabanggit ko nga itong maging ready na sila, maintindihan na nila itong alert level systems. Open po sila. Kaso nga lang ang aming initial na pananaw dito, baka hindi pa lahat ay ready.”

“Baka magkaroon tayo ng piloting naman sa iba’t ibang probinsya at highly-urbanized city sa labas ng NCR para gawin itong alert level system,” he said.

(On Monday, I spoke with the league of provincial governors and mentioned that they should be ready for the alert level systems. They are open to it, but we think some areas may not be ready for it. We might be doing the pilot-testing of the alert level system in provinces and highly-urbanized cities.)

Densing said he hopes the new alert level system will result in stable, if not lower, average daily COVID-19 cases in the region.

“Kailangan stable ‘yung average daily cases natin ng COVID-19. Kung hindi man stable kailangan bumaba, at nakikita na natin itong huling tatlong araw medyo pababa na po 'yung numero.”

(We need to see the average daily cases in NCR going stable, if not lower. We can see in recent days that the numbers are declining.)

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