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MMC to abide by IATF decision

Alvin Murcia

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An official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday clarified the plan to place Metro Manila under general community quarantine by 1 June was a mere recommendation.

According to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the MMDA governing body, the 17 Metro Manila Mayors will abide by the decision of the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF-EID) on Emerging Infectious Diseases should Metro Manila is placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)at present by the end of the month.

“The MMC, thru the MMDA, wishes to reiterate that the issues discussed and presented during Tuesday’s meeting and GM Garcia’s press conference are only recommendations of the body to the IATF,” the MMDA said in a statement.

“It is the IATF who decides and have the last say on the matter,” it quickly added.

Days earlier, the MMC said it will recommend to the IATF-EID placing the National Capital Region under general community quarantine or GCQ by 1 June but with restrictions and limitations.

Garcia said all 17 Metro Manila mayors “unanimously” recommended placing Metro Manila under GCQ from MECQ that will lapse on 31 May.

He said the NCR mayors were unanimous in their stand but would wait for the IATF decision.

At the MMC teleconference meeting presided over by MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim Tuesday night, it was agreed that under the GCQ, local government units are allowed to impose a lockdown of specific barangays if and when needed, particularly problematic areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

Transportation in Metro Manila is limited to company-provided shuttle services, point-to-point vehicles, taxis, transport network vehicle services and tricycles. Public utility buses and jeepneys remain prohibited under GCQ for the safety of commuters.

The MMDA also encourage the use of bicycles as alternative mode of transport.

Garcia said the Land Transportation, Franchising and Regulatory Board is rationalizing bus routes in the metropolis to allow for faster turnaround of buses.

The putting up of footbridges and of loading and unloading stations on strategic areas along EDSA is also underway.

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