Metro Manila mayors want to retain GCQ status until year end

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 19) — Metro Manila mayors are seeking to keep the general community quarantine (GCQ) status over the region until Dec. 31, but with eased business, travel, and curfew restrictions to allow the country's economy to flourish.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia on Monday said the community quarantine issue was discussed during the meeting of 17 local chief executives and several members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

Garcia said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez was consulted and he agreed that GCQ with more relaxed rules is the safest way to reopen the economy.

"Nag-stick talaga tayo na hanggang Dec. 31, GCQ ang buong NCR kasi pagdating sa ekonomiya, nakakapag-adjust naman tayo in capacity," he said during an online media forum.

[Translation: We are sticking that we want the National Capital Region under GCQ until Dec. 31. We can adjust the capacity of businesses for the economy.]

The Metro Manila mayors will submit a recommendation to the IATF. The COVID-19 task force presents its recommendation to President Rodrigo Duterte, who makes a monthly decision.

Metro Manila has been under lockdown since March. The classifications were gradually eased.

Quarantine restrictions on people aged 18-65 are now allowed to leave their homes for non-essential trips.

Metro Manila cities and municipalities, except for Navotas, are set to shorten curfew hours this week to 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. It is expected to be trimmed further during the Christmas season.