Most Metro Manila mayors vote ‘yes’ to placing NCR under MGCQ beginning March 1

Marje Pelayo   •   February 19, 2021   •   628

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila mayors, in a close fight, voted 9-8 in favor of placing the entire National Capital Region (NCR) under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

Among those who disclosed their position on the issue were Mandaluyong City Mayor Menchie Abalos and Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso who both voted in favor of MGCQ. 

Because of this, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) will recommend to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) the placement of the entire Metro Manila under the lowest quarantine classification.

As for Chairman Benhur Abalos of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), he said the Metro Manila local chief executives must ensure balance between health and livelihood of their constituents.

He believes it is important to still impose localized lockdowns in specific areas where cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are high.

“Nakakatakot din naman ang nangyayari ngayon na maraming nagugutom, maraming walang trabaho. So, siguro dahil dito, iniisip nilang maigi at ang naging posisyon nga ay siguro MGCQ para nang sa ganoon ay magkaroon ng tamang-tamang economic activities,” Abalos said.

As for Makati City Mayor Aby Binay, it’s high time that the local government units consider economic recovery.

“I think it’s high time that we test: are we ready to shift? ‘Di tingnan natin kung kaya na natin mag-MGCQ kasi for over a year, we have sided more on health rather than the economy and obviously, the economy has taken its toll,” she said.

Meanwhile, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora expressed concern over the matter especially when cinemas and other recreational activities will be allowed under MGCQ.

“Everywhere you go you will see people working and as long as all health and safety protocols are being followed. Ang apprehension ko lang, kapag sabihin yung MGCQ na tayo, yung mga ibang activities na — ako personal na naniniwala na — pwedeng ipagpaliban muna,” Zamora said.

Malacañang, meanwhile, thanked the local chief executives for their support to downgrade quarantine measures in the country’s main region.

“Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa ating mga alkalde, uulitin ko lang po talaga lahat po tayo pinangangalagaan ang kalusugan pero kinakailangan po nating pangalagaan din ang mgahanay ng nagugutom na dahil po sa pandemiyang ito,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Meanwhile, the MMC and the IATF agreed to allow minors aged 15 years above to go out which can be reversed if COVID-19 cases begin to climb again.

“Ang pananaw ng mga mayors ay okay lang pero dahan-dahan. Huwag ganoon ka-drastic,” Abalos said. MNP (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Metro Manila mayors to temporarily close cemeteries from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Metro Manila mayors will temporarily close public and private cemeteries from October 29 to November 2.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said the Metro Manila Council (MMC) decided to adopt the resolution implemented last year to temporarily close cemeteries all over the metropolis for at least one week. This is to prevent mass gatherings and lessen the risk of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread.

MMDA Resolution No. 21-22, Series of 2021, cited that “as for the conduct of wakes, necrological services, funerals, interment, cremation, and inurnment during this five-day period, the prescribed guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases shall govern.”

“Filipinos can still physically visit the graves of their departed loved ones earlier than October 29 or later than November 2, subject to the prescribed thirty percent (30%) venue capacity,” Abalos said.

Abalos also added that face masks, face shields, and observance of physical distancing will be required. AAC

MMDA: No agreed extension of ECQ in Metro Manila

UNTV News   •   August 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Saturday denied a news report quoting Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez that all Metro Manila mayors have agreed to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until August 30.

“MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos said he talked with Olivarez and the mayor refuted the article, adding that no meeting among Metro mayors occurred,” it said in a statement.

The agency further said that the mayors are focused on monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases in their respective jurisdictions, vaccination rollout, and distribution of ayuda or financial aid to low-income families affected by the ECQ which will last until August 20.

The MMDA chief added that any recommendation that will be made by the Metro Manila Council (MMC) shall be based on data, LGU capabilities, and experts’ (health and economic) studies.

Laguna, Iloilo City, Cagayan de Oro under MECQ beginning Aug. 16

Maris Federez   •   August 13, 2021

The provinces of Laguna, Iloilo City, and Cagayan de Oro City will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) starting August 16 until August 31, 2021.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque made the announcement Friday morning following President Rodrigo Duterte’s approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases recommendation to de-escalate the three provinces’ quarantine status.

The National Capital Region and the province of Bataan, on the other hand, will remain under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until August 20 and August 22, respectively.

The following areas will also be placed under MECQ until the end of the month:

  • Apayao
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Bulacan
  • Cavite
  • Lucena City
  • Rizal province
  • Aklan
  • Iloilo Province
  • Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, and Cebu City

Meanwhile, placed under general community (GCQ) with heightened restrictions from August 16 to August 31 are:

  • Ilocos Sur
  • Cagayan
  • Quezon and Batangas in Region 4-A
  • Naga City
  • Antique
  • Bacolod City
  • Capiz
  • Negros Oriental
  • Cebu
  • Zamboanga del Sur
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Davao City
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao Occidental
  • Davao de Oro
  • Butuan City

The province of Tarlac will be placed under GCQ starting today, August 13 until the end of the month.

On the other hand, GCQ will be implemented in the following areas from August 16 to August 31:

  • Baguio City
  • Santiago City
  • Quirino
  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Batangas
  • Quezon
  • Puerto Princesa
  • Guimaras
  • Negros Occidental
  • Zamboanga Sibugay
  • Zamboanga City
  • Zamboanga del Norte
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao del Sur
  • General Santos City
  • Sultan Kudarat,
  • Sarangani
  • North Cotabato
  • South Cotabato
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Surigao del Norte
  • Surigao del Sur
  • Dinagat Islands
  • Cotabato City

All other areas shall be placed under modified GCQ classification from August 16 to 31, 2021, Roque said. —/mbmf

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