Marikina mayor: MGCQ necessary but are we ready?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2021 11:15 AM

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MANILA - Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro on Friday said while he recognizes the necessity of shifting to a looser quarantine regime, he is questioning its timing and the preparedness for it.

Metro Manila mayors, voting 9-8, agreed to place the region under modified general community quarantine in March. The national government's inter-agency task force against COVID-19 also proposed to place the whole country under this quarantine level.

Teodoro said the mayors who voted against the shift did not object to MGCQ itself, but raised questions on "how we can possibly manage the risks involved."

"We need to be able to clearly define the protocols and guidelines. We’re asking for the presentation of proper health and transportation infrastructure and guidelines on how to really mitigate, if possible avoid, a resurgence of cases of COVID-19," he told ANC's Headstart.

"Hindi natin pinagtatalunan kung kailangan—kailangang mag-MGCQ—but yung readiness, we need to ascertain that and provide our people with a clear roadmap," he said.

He said that they first need to see guidelines from the Department of Transportation on how to make public transport 75 percent available as proposed by the National Economic and Development Authority.

"This is still not being done as we speak. 'Yun 'yung contention namin (That is our contention)," he said.

"The opening of economic activities should be gradual, it should not be abrupt. It should be proportional to the safeguards that we put up, the regulatory framework, the capacity to enforce regulations and guidelines. When we open up economic activities, we need stricter health protocols and we’re questioning the capacity now," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte will decide on quarantine levels for next month on Feb. 22, said his spokesman, Harry Roque. He said with the IATF and Metro Manila mayors sharing the same position, the chief executive may also agree with this. The announcement may be done before the end of February, he said.