San Juan City mayor for MECQ extension, as Metro Manila mayors submit vote for IATF consideration

Explains cases still too high in his city compared to last March or February before the new surge


(Eagle News) — San Juan City mayor Francis Zamora said he is for an extension of the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila to further ensure that COVID-19 cases would continue its decline.

In an interview with the Eagle News Service program “Balitalakaya” aired over NET25, Zamora said that 17 Metro Manila mayors were again called to a meeting yesterday, Monday, April 26, where they were given new data on the economic aspect of a continuation of the MECQ vis-a-vis the shift to a General Community Quarantine for the Philippine capital. This was a follow-up to their earlier meeting on Sunday where they have been given various data on the health effects on the continuation of the MECQ, and what would happen if GCQ is imposed on the start of May, on mid-May, or end of May.

The Metro Manila mayors yesterday were asked to give their vote on the issue.

Meron na kaming information on the health aspect and the economic aspect. at hiningan kami ngayon ng aming boto. So ako po, i have been very consistent in my position na mas gusto ko sanang manatili ang MECQ sa Metro Manila,” he said in the Balitalakayan interview.

Zamora noted that while there has been a noted decrease in cases, it is still not enough. There are still many cases compared to February before this new spike in cases when San Juan City only recorded about 30 to 60 additional cases.

Bagama’t bumababa na ang bilang ng mga kaso, ito ay nasa lebel na para sa akin ay mataas pa rin. Mas gusto ko po sanang bumaba pa ang bilang na ito, upang mas maging ligtas sa bawat isa,” he said.

The San Juan City mayor, for instance, noted that in the city, they reached about 1,100 cases around two weeks ago, and now the cases are down to 741 but this is still much higher than the around 60 new cases recorded in March.

-Hospitals in San Juan still mostly full-

He noted that the hospitals and quarantine facilities in their city are still almost full.  Cardinal Santos Medical Center, for instance, the city’s only private hospital, is still “fully occupied” in its COVID section and there are still those on the waiting list, while the San Juan City Medcial Center is still at 70 percent utilization rate.   Quarantine facilities are at an 85 percent utilization, but he said that they are also set to open more quarantine facilities in the next few days.

Zamora, however, could not say yet how the voting of the Metro Manila mayors went.

May mga mayors who’d like to keep their sentiments close to their hearts,” he said on the position of the other Metro Manila mayors.

Zamora said he expects the result of the vote would be presented today during the scheduled Inter-Agency Task Force meeting “for their consideration.”

“But tandaan po ninyo na kami ay purely recommendatory lamang. At the end of the day, it’s still the IATF and of course President Duterte who will make the final decision,” he said during the interview.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to announce the community quarantine protocols for May in his scheduled “Talk to the Nation” on Wednesday, April 28.

The MECQ in Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal — or the so-called NCR plus areas – is set to end on April 30.



(Eagle News Service)