Metro mayors to discuss uniform ordinance vs sellers of COVID-19 vaccine shots, slots

Marje Pelayo   •   May 26, 2021   •   280

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila mayors are set to discuss the crafting of a uniform ordinance that will penalize illicit sale of  COVID-19 shots and vaccination slots.

In an interview with Metro Manila Council Chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, this will be discussed among their members in response to Malacañang’s directive to local government units (LGUs) to issue such an ordinance.

The city of Manila has earlier approved an ordinance prohibiting the sale of COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine slots which is penalized by imprisonment and fines.

The issue surfaced after screen shots of alleged transactions circulated on social media. The images showed a person offering the jabs and slots in Mandaluyong City at prices ranging from  P12,000 to P15,000 each.

Authorities are conducting an investigation into the perpetrators of the alleged schemes.

Metro Manila mayors shorten curfew hours from midnight to 4 a.m.

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council (MMC) will implement a shortened curfew beginning October 13, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

Curfew hours in the National Capital Region (NCR) will be from 12:00 a.m. to 4:00 a.m. This is after the Department of Health (DOH) reported a downtrend of active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the region.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said the adjustment on curfew hours was approved unanimously by the 17 Metro Manila local chief executives due to the declining number of COVID-19 cases.

“Everything is going down. The number of COVID-19 cases is declining as well as the reproduction rate, according to DOH data and OCTA Research. In light of the recent developments particularly the steady decrease of active cases, the curfew hours being presently implemented in the NCR under Alert Level 4 has to be adjusted,” he said.

The current curfew hour is from 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. following the implementation of a new alert level system. -AAC

Sec. Año supports a more relaxed quarantine restriction in Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Eduardo Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is still studying whether or not to implement a more relaxed restriction in the National Capital Region (NCR) without discriminating against those who are not yet vaccinated.

Año, however, indicated that he is more inclined to favor downgrading the restriction in the capital saying it is about time.

“In Metro Manila, I will give my all honest opinion with the high percentage of vaccination, it’s about time to really give some additional privilege to the vaccinated. It will also encourage other people to be vaccinated,” he said.

Among those who support the relaxation of quarantine restrictions is Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.

He said that a more relaxed restriction should now be imposed in areas where the majority of the population is already vaccinated such as in the NCR.

“I think we should move forward and really test it because how do you live with COVID if even the vaccinated will not be allowed movement,” Concepcion said.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) said it agrees with Concepcion and even released a resolution to urge the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to approve such proposal although the mayors support the strict implementation of the health and safety protocol to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

“It means that we are one with the call of Mr. Concepcion or even of the businessmen to urge IATF to consider the easing of the guidelines; however, it is subject to the study of interdisciplinary,” said MMC and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority concurrent chairman Benhur Abalos.

At present, over 50% of the NCR’s population are fully vaccinated, 80% if to include those who received their first dose.

The IATF is now finalizing the guidelines for the new quarantine classifications using the new alert level system. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Metro Manila mayors urge IATF to ease COVID restrictions for fully vaccinated in NCR

Marje Pelayo   •   September 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council (MMC) urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to consider relaxing COVID-19 restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) for fully vaccinated individuals.

According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos, easing of restrictions for fully vaccinated individuals would help the government’s campaign to vaccinate the rest of the population and would bolster economic activities in the region.

“With the NCR being considered right now to be the epicenter of this pandemic and the region with the most number of vaccinated individuals, we are confident that we can find the right balance between safeguarding the public’s health and reviving economy,” Abalos, who also sits as the concurrent chair of the MMC, said.

The NCR registered around 56% of the eligible population (5,492,344 individuals) who have completed their doses as of September 8, 2021.

Abalos said they are confident that by October 8, the number of fully vaccinated residents in Metro Manila will reach  7,601,685 or 77.57% of the total eligible population.

“The more people who complete their inoculation, the sooner we can achieve population protection,” he added.

The Metro Manila mayors, in a resolution, urged the IATF to “consider the easing of COVID-19 guidelines for fully-vaccinated individuals in the NCR subject to the conduct of an inter-agency and inter-disciplinary study to determine the appropriate policy therefore based on scientific and empirical evidence.”

The NCR remains under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until September 15.

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