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MMC poised to suggest 15-day extension of ECQ, says Council chair

By Jel Santos

As mayors in the metropolis fear the peril of the second wave of COVID-19 cases, Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairman and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said they are inclined to suggest the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

A dog walks around a deserted public market following the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manila, Philippines, April 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/MANILA BULLETIN)

A dog walks around a deserted public market following the lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manila, Philippines, April 24, 2020. (REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/MANILA BULLETIN)

The MMC, comprised of the 17 Metro Manila mayors and different national agencies, is the governing and policy-making body of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

“Most likely tinitingnan po natin na magkaroon po ng another 15 days extension kasi ang kinakatakutan po natin dito ‘yung second wave. Kasi napakaganda na po  ng ating momentum (We are eyeing an extension of another 15 days because we fear the second wave [of cases]. We already have a great momentum),” the MMC chairman said over a television interview, Friday.

Olivarez said that members of the MMC will have a teleconference meeting via Zoom on Saturday afternoon to discuss the possible extension of the ECQ.

Also, he said they will suggest to IATF to extend the ECQ in the whole of Metro Manila as it is inter-connected.

The mayor pointed out that workers will have a hard time should only selected areas in Metro Manila be under general community quarantine (GCQ), saying that not all employees work in the cities where they live.

“Buong Metro Manila sana ang ma-extend dahil inter-connected po siya. Katulad po sa amin sa Parañaque, mayroon kaming mga residente na nagtratrabaho sa Makati, kung Makati ay GCQ, kami ay ECQ, paano siya makakalampas  sa boundary namin katulad din po sa ibang lugar (We are eyeing the whole of Metro Manila should the ECQ be extended. Like here in Parañaque, we have residents working in Makati, if Makati is under GCQ, and we are under ECQ, how would they get through the boundaries? This will also be the dilemma of other places),” Olivarez explained.

As of May 7, 2020, Department of Health said there are now 10,343 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, 6,709 of which are in Metro Manila.

Assistant secretary Celine Pialago, MMDA spokesperson, said the agency will fully support the decision of the 17 mayors of MMC.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/05/08/mmc-poised-to-suggest-15-day-extension-of-ecq-says-council-chair/)

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