Metro Manila mayors favor shift to GCQ by June 1

Marje Pelayo   •   May 27, 2020   •   613

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)

MMDA to lift suspension of number coding scheme this week

Maris Federez   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Monday, November 29, announced that it would lift the suspension of the number coding scheme in the National Capital Region within this week.

According to MMDA Benhur Abalos, the Metro Manila Council of mayors has signed the resolution that will resume the number coding scheme and the same will be published in a Philippine gazette on Tuesday.

Abalos added that the implementation of the resumption of the number coding scheme will be two days after the publication of the resolution.

The number coding scheme will be from 5 PM to 8 PM from Monday to Friday.

He clarified, however, that public transportation will still be exempted from the scheme.

Light trucks, on the other hand, will be banned from EDSA from 5 AM to 9 PM. —/mbmf

Metro mayors approve lifting face shield policy — MMDA

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors have agreed to lift the mandatory use of face shields, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Monday (November 8).

In an interview, MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said the Metro Manila Council (MMC) of mayors wants to do away with face shields when going out in public.

“So, napagkasunduan na lang ng Metro Manila Mayors na talagang tanggalin na ito dahil mayroon ka namang proteksyon — may mask ka naman eh. It is just an added one,” Abalos said.

The MMDA chief, however, stressed that this will not cover critical areas such as hospitals and other medical facilities, adding that their decision is their way of support to the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) earlier proposal.

“Make it just a personal choice except for hospitals, for health centers, and the PUVs. So, we are supporting the position of the DILG of Secretary Año here,” he said.

The Manila City government has earlier in the day announced the lifting of the use of face shields through Executive Order No. 42 declaring the use of face shields as non-mandatory in the capital city.

Abalos said local chief executives will submit their position to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), as soon as possible. —/mbmf

Metro malls to have longer operating hours — MMDA

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila shopping malls will have longer operating hours starting mid-November, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

An advisory posted on MMDA’s Facebook page said the adjustment came after the Metro Manila Council (MMC) of mayors approved the MMDA Resolution No. 21-25 that sought the lifting of the general curfew in the capital region last week as it was placed under Alert Level 2 quarantine status.

Malls in Metro Manila will operate from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm beginning Nov. 15, with weekend and holiday schedules starting as early as 10 a.m.

This is seen to help ease the flow of traffic, especially during the holiday season.

Mall sales are also limited to weekends and holidays only.

The MMC is comprised of 17 local government units in Metro Manila and serves as that governing and policy-making body of the MMDA. —/mbmf

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