The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), through its General Manager, Jojo Garcia, told reporters yesterday that all the Metro Manila mayors have voted unanimously to downgrade the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in the National Capital Region to General Community Quarantine (GCQ), starting June 1.
“Unanimously po, ‘yung ating NCR mayors acceptable sa GCQ (They've unanimously voted in favor of GCQ),” said Garcia in an online press briefing. He also added that they will wait for the final decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) if it will in fact be downgraded to the GCQ on June 1.
All the 17 Metro Manila mayors have made the recommendation in consideration of the economy, which is on a downward spiral, due to the mandated shuttering of businesses to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“May datos ang mga LGUs, confident naman sila na kaya nilang control [ang GCQ]. Ang naging factor diyan ang ekonomiya. Ang sabi naghihikahos na ang ating LGUs (The LGUs have their data and they are confident that they can control their areas under GCQ. The factor is the economy. And the LGUs said that their economies are getting worse by the day). You need to balance economy and health,” added Garcia.
Since the lockdown started last March, people's movement has been reduced to the bare essentials only, like buying food from groceries and medicines. Non-essential establishments have been ordered closed and work in majority of the industries suspended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Though the mayors have recommended the downgrading of the lockdown in NCR, they have also suggested allowing them to issue restrictions on certain areas within their jurisdictions if deemed necessary.
The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of the 17 mayors of the cities that compose the National Capital Region, is the policy-making body of the MMDA. Earlier this month, the MMC has submitted three options to the IATF-EID where the latter chose the extension of the ECQ, with certain modifications, up to May 30.