A policeman carries a sign reminding shoppers in Divisoria, Manila to observe physical distancing specially when out in public this holiday season. (PHOTO BY ALI VICOY)
BY ARGYLL GEDUCOS * JEAN FERNANDO
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Monday that the IATF will review the data to see if Metro Manila can finally downgrade to the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) and allow more businesses to reopen.
He, however, said that this may happen if the number of daily cases continues to slow down.
“Compared to where we came from, the 4,000 [cases] a day, ngayon ay kung nagtu-2,000 tayo (now we’re down to 2,000 cases a day) or even below 2,000 a day, eh dapat ay iko-consider natin ang unti-unting pagbubukas (we should now be considering opening up the economy more),” Lopez said in a press briefing.
Lopez said that risk management was important in order to revive the economy especially after a recession year.
“Ang importante po talaga ngayon, risk management. Yung mag-a-allow tayo ng kaunting risk pero kalkulado (What’s important is we do risk management. We allow few risks but calculated ones),” he said.
The IATF has recently allowed the easing of age restrictions to 10-65 years old in areas under the MGCQ but advised local governments in GCQ areas to follow suit.
Meanwhile, Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the Metro Manila Council (MMC) will hold a meeting on Tuesday to determine whether Metro Manila is ready to be placed under MGCQ.
The MMC chairman said the number of active cases of COVID-19 should have decreased significantly before placing Metro Manila under a more relaxed quarantine status.
“Isa po ‘yan sa pag-uusapan po natin sa meeting by tomorrow night. Titingnan po natin ‘yung ating UK variant na ito if it will affect our metropolis at kung ano ‘yung mga prevention natin na gagawin bago tayo mag-MGCQ,” Olivarez said.
Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the end of January 31. (Argyll Geducos, Jean Fernando)