MMDA: NCR mayors ready to implement new lockdown system

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — It's all systems go for the implementation of the new lockdown rules that will ease some restrictions in the National Capital Region.

Speaking to CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Benhur Abalos said the mayors of the capital region, in coordination with the national government, are ready for the pilot run of the COVID-19 alert level system from Sept. 16 to 30.

Despite the World Health Organization’s warning that Metro Manila's growing vaccine coverage is still inadequate to consider easing some restrictions, Abalos maintained that there are lesser establishments and businesses that would be allowed to operate at limited capacity under the new lockdown system.

"If I may just tell the viewers, ‘yung sinasabi ni Dr. Rabi (WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe), kung titignan mo ‘yung binabawal sa personal care mas mahaba. Kung babasahin ko pa ‘yun, napakahaba, kamukha ng indoor tourist attractions, libraries, etc.," Abalos said.

[Translation: Regarding the comment of Dr. Rabi, if you will read the list of prohibited personal care services, it's a long one, similar to indoor tourist attractions, libraries, etc.]

"Kung tutuusin mo, marami pa ring bawal, kaunti lang po ang binigay," he added.

[Translation: In fact, a lot of businesses are still prohibited, only a few are allowed to open.]

RELATED: WHO: Vaccination coverage in NCR not enough to ease restrictions 

When asked about the level of preparation of Metro Manila mayors, Abalos said they would ensure the proper implementation of the new system since they are all coordinating with each other.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora told CNN Philippines' New Day on Wednesday that he would personally go around commercial establishments to ensure that they are complying with proper health protocols.

"Tomorrow, I am going around these malls to install stickers indicating 100% fully vaccinated employees in establishments that will be allowed to open under GCQ with alert levels," he said.

Zamora also expressed confidence about conducting granular lockdown in his city. He said San Juan has 12 areas under lockdown but are all guarded and supplied with food.

Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level 4 from Sept. 16 to 30.

Under Alert Level 4, persons below 18 years old and over 65 years old, those with comorbidities, and pregnant women are not allowed to go out of their houses. However, they are permitted to go outside if they are buying essential goods or services or working in permitted industries.

Outdoor dine-in services, barbershops, hair spas, nail spas, beauty salons, and physical religious gatherings are allowed to operate for up to 30% of their outdoor seating capacity. They may operate indoors at a 10% capacity provided that customers and workers are fully vaccinated.

READ: Metro Manila to be placed under Alert Level 4 starting Sept. 16