Majority of Metro Manila Mayors support shift to MGCQ status by March 1, 2021

President Rodrigo Duterte will have a big decision to make that will affect millions of residents and businesses in Metro Manila as a majority of the mayors voted to shift the metropolis from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status by March 1, 2021, as based on a news release on Philippine News Agency (PNA) that got published just last night.

Here’s an excerpt from the PNA report:

The Metro Manila Council (MMC), composed of Metro Manila mayors and national government officials, has voted to support the proposed shift to the less restrictive modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in Metro Manila.

“Ang karamihan po ng alkalde ng kalakhang maynila ay bumoto na MGCQ na po ang magiging posisyon nila pagdating sa Metro Manila (Most of the mayors in Metro Manila voted for having MGCQ as their position in Metro Manila),” Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. said in a press conference on Thursday.

This, he said, will be sent to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and to President Rodrigo R. Duterte who will make the final decision on whether to implement eased quarantine restrictions by March 1.

He declined to provide the actual number of votes the proposal received but said that all Metro Manila mayors will support the decision.

Indeed, Abalos did not reveal the number of Yes and No votes but the Manila Bulletin reported that the score among Metro Manila mayors was 9-8 in favor of MGCQ.

To put things in perspective, Metro Manila still has yet to adjust to MGCQ status. Metro Manila is the hot spot of multiple cities where a lot of residents as well as business entities of varied sizes are located at. Right now, the nation needs a major boost to its economy even as there is still the need to be vigilant to avoid new COVID-19 infections. Lots of people in the metropolis remain unemployed and badly need income, and having Metro Manila shift to MGCQ status will help revive other businesses and pave the way for more people to get back to work.

It would be nice to see the Metro Manila Council research more and observe closely how other cities and provinces are doing while maintaining MGCQ statuses for months already.

On a grander scale, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supports the recommendation to have the entire nation placed under MGCQ status by March. The said recommendation was made by Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua in recent times. Below is an excerpt from the PNA report:

“It is about time we move to MGCQ after a year of lockdown,” Lopez told reporters in a Viber message Tuesday. “Lockdown was supposed to buy us time to prepare our health system and improve contact tracing and ‘Trace-Test-Treat’.”

Since June 2020, the National Capital Region (NCR) has not graduated from GCQ status, a stricter community quarantine measure than MGCQ.

It even went back to much stricter modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from Aug. 4 to 18 last year as health care facilities in Metro Manila were overwhelmed due to the increasing number of Covid-19 cases during that period.

“As the Philippines recovers, Metro Manila has a very weak recovery, worse in employment and hunger recovery, and that means more urban poor. The damages to malnutrition and other health and social issues will be irreversible,” Lopez said.

NCR accounted for around 40 percent of the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP).

But Lopez added the reopening of more economic activities should depend on the Covid-19 statistics.

As pointed out by Trade secretary Lopez, Metro Manila is lagging behind in terms of recovery from the pandemic. Apart from joblessness and lack of income, poverty in the National Capital Region is an important problem to solve. The more people fall under poverty, the more local government units (LGUs) need to exert and spend their limited resources to support them.

Right now, the Metro Manila Council’s approval of shifting to MGCQ status will soon be dealt with by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and President Duterte.

In ending this, here are some videos about combatting the China virus.

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Muntinlupa City Health Office records Zero PUI cases for COVID-19

Muntinlupa City Health Office records Zero PUI cases for COVID-19

Yesterday, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced that there were no PUIs (Persons Under Investigation) for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) within their jurisdiction.

Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao said on February 17 that the five PUIs referred in local hospitals tested negative for COVID-19 (video focused on the virus embedded below for your learning) and were already discharged.

“We now have zero cases of PUIs in Muntinlupa City after laboratory samples of all admitted PUIs yielded negative results for COVID-19. The local government of Muntinlupa is strongly coordinating with the Department of Health and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine regarding this health event,” Tuliao added.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi recently ordered the creation of Muntinlupa 2019-nCoV Task Force through Executive Order 2 s. 2020 as a pro-active measure against the spread of the disease in the city. The local task force spearheads the implementation of DOH protocols and guidelines and extends full cooperation with the department and other national government agencies.

Fresnedi assured the public that the City Government is undertaking actions for the prevention, containment, and control of COVID-19 in Muntinlupa. Further, the mayor advised the public to practice proper hygiene, observe proper cough etiquette, and adopt healthy lifestyles to increase body resistance against infections.

The City Government of Muntinlupa called for an emergency stakeholders meeting to discuss the latest updates on the Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease to barangay emergency response units, barangay officials and health workers, mall owners, hoteliers, and other commercial establishment owners last February 4.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office noted that health facilities in the city are equipped to respond in emergency situations involving patients with respiratory infections. Local hospitals and medical centers were advised to observe high standard of infection prevention and control in dealing with patients suspected to have contracted with the virus.

The Ospital ng Muntinlupa has installed priority lanes for patients experiencing flu-like symptoms and is equipped to respond in emergency situations involving patients with respiratory infections.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office distributed 2,000 pieces of 100ml alcohol bottles to city residents and boosted its information drive in combatting the spread of 2019-nCov ARD through the City Government’s Public Information office. The City Government is inspecting emerging Chinese restaurants and coordinates with Chinese establishments as a precautionary measure.

Muntinlupa City residents are highly encouraged to immediately visit local health centers or Ospital ng Muntinlupa if they are experiencing symptoms of the virus. For more information, the public may coordinate with Ospital ng Muntinlupa at 8771-0457 or with DOH at 771-1001/711-1002.

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This was an official press release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa.