With fewer people outside, MMDA says no need yet for curfew in NCR

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 15) — There is no need yet to reimpose curfew in the National Capital Region, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos said.

He pointed out more people are now "self-regulating" amid fears of catching the rapidly spreading virus.

"Sa nakita namin, kumonti ang tao sa kalye, kumonti ang tao sa mall. Sa gabi, halos wala ka nang makita. [Kaya] napag-isipan namin, for the meantime, there is no need for a curfew," Abalos said over state-run PTV on Saturday.

[Translation: Based on what we saw, there are fewer people in malls and out on the streets. Hardly anyone is outside at night. So, we thought there is no need for a curfew for the meantime.]

"In a way, siguro, ang ating mga kababayan, after all of these variants — UK; Delta; South Africa; ngayon, Omicron — on our own, natuto na tayo to self-regulate. Hindi mo na kailangang sabihan, ''Wag kang lumabas,'" he added.

[Translation: In a way, people may have already learned to self-regulate after all of these variants — UK, Delta, South Africa, and now, Omicron. You no longer need to tell them to stay home.]

The general curfew in NCR was lifted in November last year to prevent overcrowding in malls ahead of the holidays.

After New Year, however, Metro Manila and several other areas were placed under the stricter Alert Level 3 due to soaring COVID-19 cases.

The government has extended the alert status until the end of the month — just as the Health Department confirmed there is an ongoing community transmission of the Omicron variant in the capital region.