As the 15th of May approaches, and what is deemed to be the last day of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the entire National Capital Region (NCR) is awaiting the call and the decision that would be made by the Philippine government. Several local mayors of Metro Manila met and they discussed what the best possible solution would be.
With this, several members of the Metro Manila Council (MMC); composed of seventeen (17) mayors of the local government and local executives in the National Capital Region, has laid down three (3) scenarios to the government’s Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
These recommendations in accordance to the NCR ECQ would be alternatives to proposing to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 30 to provide better outcome of the isolation period.
No Perfect Solution
It was strongly advised in an online press briefing last Saturday by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia,adding that the mayors “unanimously” voted for the recommendations during the Metro Manila Council (MMC) meeting.
In his statement, he said that there’s not a solution that is perfect in determining the conclusion. In addition to that, he stated that there should be an economic and a health-inclined balance in solving the issues.
There is no perfect solution; we have to balance economic and health issues.”
Garcia said that members of the MMC, comprised of the mayors, will present the following scenarios to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) which manages the country’s coronavirus strategies:
- The extension of the ECQ for two (2) more weeks, from May 16th 2020 until the 30th;
- ECQ will be lifted, and general community quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in the entire Metro Manila
- Modified GCQ, where LGUs are allowed to impose a lockdown on a specific barangay or zone if needed.
He continued to say that they’ll just present the suggestions because they’re not the ones to decide on it anyway.
Ipe-present lang namin because hindi naman MMC and magde-decide for that eh. Recommendatory lang kami. Ang maganda lang, maririnig yung boses ng nasa ground. Kasi ang mga mayors, sila talaga ang may kabisado dyan eh, kung ano yung nangyayari sa ground
In Translation: We’ll just present because the MMC would not be the body to decide for that. We’re just the recommendatory body and what’s good about it is that the voices of people in the ground would be heard. The Mayors are the ones who are aware of what’s really happening.
All decisions respected for the outcome of the NCR ECQ
The MMC said that tehy will respect whatever circumstance will be chosen once the IATF comes up with the final conclusion since of what they will need to do. The MMC is the governing board and policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago said of the recommendations that there strictly are no unanimous decisions; just suggestions in what we need to undertake to ease the situation.
Wala pong naging unanimous decision only unanimous suggestions.”
In Translation: There are no unanimous decisions, only unanimous suggestions.
Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who also chairs the Metro Manila Council (MMC), said on an interview with the Inquirer that with the two-month enhanced quarantine (ECQ) there were major improvements. However, according to him, we still were not able to effectively flatten the curve.
Moreover, what he fears is something that everyone does — the second wave.
What we’re really afraid of is a more severe second wave if we fail to isolate COVID-19 patients, the capital’s top policymaking body. What we’re looking at is the capacity of each city government to carry out its mass testing so they can better identify confirmed cases.”
Technically speaking, the NCR ECQ is taking its toll not just with no pay no work employees, but also other employees and businesses that are relying on the public. Olivarez mentioned that the interconnection of the entire Metro is complex; that it’s possible for certain infections if there’ll be parts opened even if some are closed.
Metro Manila is very interconnected, and it’s impossible for one city to be under GCQ (the more relaxed “general community quarantine”) while others are in ECQ. So what we’re aiming for is one unified decision for the entire capital region.”
The Novel Coronavirus infection continues to increase in the Philippines with 147 new cases, lifting the tally to 10,610 with 1,842 recoveries and 704 fatalities. What do you think about the NCR ECQ — what should their decisions be?
Source: The Philippine Daily Inquirer