Mayors recommend GCQ for Metro Manila by June 1

Metro Manila mayors agreed recommending to the national government to place the National Capital Region (NCR) on general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning as early as June 1.

According to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia, mayors "unanimously" agreed to make the recommendation after their meeting on Tuesday evening, May 26.

Speaking to reporters in an online briefing, Garcia said the mayors agreed on the recommendation with the intention of reviving the economy. Garcia added, however, that mayors would still formulate policies that would prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) like barangay and area lockdowns within their territories.

The recommendation will, however, need approval by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Metro Manila is currently under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), which still restricts travel and activities, and allows only what the government has categorized as essential.

Placing the region on GCQ would mean allowing full operation for agriculture, fisheries, and forestry sectors, food manufacturing and all supply chains, including ink, packaging and raw materials, supermarkets, hygiene products, hospitals, medical clinics, veterinary clinics, logistics, water, banks, energy, internet, telecommunications, and media.

In malls, only hardware stores, clothing, and accessory stores, barbershops, salon, spas, and other personal care industries would be allowed to open. Restaurants would be allowed, but for take-out and delivery only.  –

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers security, crime, and the city of Manila for Rappler. He was chosen as a Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.