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GCQ pa more? Año to meet with Metro Manila mayors on lockdown status

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MANILA – Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday said he will meet with Metro Manila mayors on Sunday to discuss the fate of the general community quarantine (GCQ) status in the region amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Doon namin tatalakayin ‘yan, papakinggan natin kung ano ‘yung recommendation ng buong Metro Manila Council, kung ano ang kanilang magiging recommendation tapos ikukumpara natin sa data analytics at doon mabubuo natin kung ano ire-recommend natin sa Pangulo (We would discuss it there, we would listen to the recommendation of the whole Metro Manila Council, and we would compare their recommendation with our data analytics. Then, we would come up with a recommendation to the President),” Año told reporters at the sidelines of the inauguration of Taguig City’s Covid-19 mega-complex facility which will host the new city-run Molecular Laboratory, the Lakeshore Mega-quarantine facility, and the Lakeshore National Testing Facility.

Año said majority of the mayors want to keep Metro Manila under GCQ.

“If you will look into it, it is better that we are under GCQ, because even if you put some restrictions, it’s still okay because GCQ, after all, is tighter. It doesn’t make sense that you transition into modified GCQ (MGCQ) and then you will tighten policies,” Año said in Filipino.

For his part, Taguig Mayor Lino Cayetano said he would also consult their own city health office, barangay and local leaders based on relevant data on the Covid-19 situation.

“For the part of Taguig, we will be doing a consultation. Well, we as mayors, are conservative because we see the details first-hand. We cannot just give recommendations without data,” he added.

Cayetano emphasized this is also to keep the balance between public health protection and economic recovery.

Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Batangas, and the city of Tacloban are under GCQ.

The rest of the Philippines are placed under MGCQ, the most relaxed quarantine classification.

Meanwhile, Lanao del Sur, Bacolod City, and Iligan City are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until the end of the month. (PNA)