Metro Manila mayors suggest 'flexible MECQ'

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 28) — Metro Manila mayors have recommended a "flexible modified enhanced community quarantine" over their cities, in a bid to keep COVID-19 under control while slowly opening up more industries in their respective areas.

This was revealed Tuesday by Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos, who said mayors chose between three options: keeping the MECQ, shifting to a more relaxed general community quarantine, or choosing the proposed flexible MECQ -- or retaining the MECQ status but allowing more economic activities.

The proposed flexible MECQ is a middle ground where border control will remain, health protocols are strict, and some businesses will be allowed to operate, like those in construction and personal hygiene services.

Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro voted in favor of the flexible MECQ, saying a balance between public health and safety and economic activity must be made.

Mayors also voted for shortened curfew hours although the times are not yet definite.

Mayors were earlier divided about what quarantine classifications should be set for May. The current MECQ status will last until April 30. 

READ: Health Chief Duque backs extended MECQ in NCR Plus bubble

The mayors' suggestions will be carried to the meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force for pandemic response, then a recommendation will be made to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President is expected to announce a decision on the quarantine status for next month during his address on Wednesday.

CNN Philippines correspondent Gerg Cahiles contributed to this report.