MANILA, Philippines — All 17 mayors in Metro Manila have agreed to a recommendation of downgrading measures in the National Capital Region (NCR) from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to general community quarantine (GCQ) starting June 1.
During the Metro Manila Council meeting with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday (May 26), the local chief executives took into consideration the impacts of community lockdowns on the economy.
Though the local heads agreed on shifting to GCQ, they still wouldn’t allow resumption of jeepney and bus operations unless a concrete plan on a single-bus route in EDSA is established through the collaboration among the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) and the MMDA.
Instead, they prefer to allow taxi, transport network vehicle services (TNVS), and point-to-point services to resume operation.
“Sabi nga natin baka pwede iwas muna tayo because of health issues sa bus at jeep or modern jeep. Case to case basis na lang meaning, huwag muna kasi mahirap i-control, (We prefer not to resume bus and jeepney operations because of health issues. It could be on a case-to-case basis but not a full operation because it’s difficult to control),” said MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
The MMC also recommends the implementation of a modified number coding scheme for private vehicles which will allow coded vehicles to ply the road provided that only a driver and a passenger are on board and will maintain proper social distance.
“Para at least ma-maximize natin lahat ng kotse natin na lalabas to help also the [public utility vehicles] na limited pa pati ang sakay niyan (To at least, maximize the capacity of vehicles and help PUVs which has limited its passengers as well),” Garcia explained.
The mayors unanimously agreed to limit mall operations under GCQ and implement the proposed zoning or localized lockdowns specific only to areas with high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.
These recommendations, upon submission to the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19, will be deliberated to come up with a final decision on whether to lift or extend the implementation of MECQ in various parts of the country. MNP (with details from Joan Nano)