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Joy Belmonte ‘extremely happy’ as Duterte decides to keep NCR under GCQ

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Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has lauded President Duterte’s decision to keep Metro Manila under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the government starts its COVID-19 vaccination program.

In a television interview Tuesday, February 23, Belmonte lauded Duterte for placing public health and welfare “above anything else.”

“To say I was relieved at President Duterte’s statement yesterday is an understatement; I am extremely happy,” she said.

Belmonte was one of eight Metro Manila mayors who voted to keep the GCQ status in the region, but they were outvoted by nine colleagues who chose modified GCQ by March.

Duterte rejected the National Economic Development Authority’s (NEDA) recommendation to place the entire country under GCQ starting March 1 to revive the economy.

Belmonte said the local government is prepared in case there’s a shift in Metro Manila’s community quarantine classification.

But President Duterte, putting a higher premium on public health and safety, opted to keep the National Capital Region (NCR) under GCQ.

“We’ve already anticipated what to do, ramping up contact tracing, testing, and early detection,” she said.