Metro Manila Council: Curfew starting May 1 is 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
While waiting for the decision of Malacañang on the quarantine status starting May 1, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) has approved the latest unified curfew hours for the National Capital Region (NCR) to be implemented beginning that day.
MMC Chairman Benhur Abalos, who is also the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair, said that the Metro Manila mayors, through Resolution 21-09 Series of 2021, have unanimously agreed to adjust curfew hours from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. beginning May 1.
"All local chief executives in Metro Manila have agreed to enact their respective Executive Orders and/or adopt their respective ordinances for the proper implementation of the standardized and unified curfew hours," the resolution—approved and signed by 17 local chief executives of Metro Manila on April 27— stated.
The MMC (the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA) will implement unified curfew hours of 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. only until April 30.
Further, Abalos said that they will defer to the announcement of President Rodrigo Duterte on the next quarantine status as the "NCR Plus bubble," composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, is scheduled to be under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) only until April 30.
“The MMC just recommends to the IATF. Hence, it is within the purview of President Rodrigo Duterte to decide on the next NCR status,” Abalos explained.
He also revealed that the Metro Manila mayors voted on three proposed quarantine classifications:
- enhanced community quarantine;
- modified enhanced community quarantine. and what they called
- “hybrid” or "flex" modified enhanced community quarantine with additional economic and business activities (to be classified and approved by the Department of Trade and Industry).
The proposals were submitted to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
Abalos said that the hybrid or flex MECQ was proposed by Department of Health Undersecretary Ma. Rosario Vergeire.
"Hybrid MECQ is intended to allay the fears of health workers for a possible surge again. That's why we want to do it gradually. By opening some businesses, we are also addressing the dilemma and hunger of those who lost their jobs," Abalos cited.
"The recommendation was based on data presented by health experts and also from NEDA as presented by Secretary Karl Chua. Through hybrid MECQ, we are hitting the middle ground. There will still be strict border controls to avoid transmission, but at the same time there will also be additional economic activities," he added.
Though the mayors have agreed not to disclose their recommendation, Abalos also assured that they are ready for the quarantine status that will be imposed by the Chief Executive.
“All the 17 local chief executives in Metro Manila are ready to implement any community quarantine status, whether it is to ease the quarantine restrictions or extend the modified enhanced community quarantine,” he noted.
"The mayors don't want the gains of ECQ and MECQ to be put to waste especially since we've seen the downward trend on the growth rate. We are hoping that we can sustain it by our continued unified efforts," Abalos elaborated.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA)