President Rodrigo Duterte announced the deferment of the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) status in the Philippines pending the rollout of the vaccine against Covid-19.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the country’s chief executive bared his preference during Monday’s cabinet meeting, saying that while Duterte saw the need to reopen the economy, he does not want to risk the people’s safety.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gave his directive to the Cabinet that the Philippines would not be placed under modified general community quarantine unless there is a rollout of vaccines,” Roque said.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila Council (MMC) Chair Benhur Abalos said that they would follow the president’s orders.
“As what we have always emphasized, the Metro Manila mayors would always defer to the wisdom and judgement of the President,” Abalos said in a statement.
“We are one with him, and would exert all efforts & rally behind him in combating this COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The statement came following a report quoting Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco that majority of the mayors in the National Capital Region are in favor of putting the region into a more relaxed quarantine status.
The report cited that those who want to retain the GCQ level is eight, while those who want to placed Metro Manila under MGCQ is nine.
Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) proposed to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) the gradual increase in public transport capacity from 50 percent to 75 percent, allowing provincial buses to operate, among others.
Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV Presidential Communications Operations Office