Quezon City proposes 'transition to GCQ' until May 31
MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City has proposed to implement a “transition period to general community quarantine” from May 16 to 31.
This is their recommendation for their jurisdiction which they plan to present to other Metro Manila mayors during a meeting on Saturday, May 9, said Mayor Joy Belmonte.
“If the QC local government were to have its way, it plans to implement the Transition Period to GCQ until May 31” if the current enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is lifted on May 16, reads a statement from city hall sent to media late Friday, May 8.
It will be the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases that will make the final decision on Metro Manila’s post-May 15 fate.
But Metro Manila mayors may make recommendations for the task force to consider.
The transition period entails strict implementation of health protocols for businesses allowed to operate under GCQ and continued presence of checkpoints.
Checkpoints will be made stricter in barangays with a high number of coronavirus cases. These barangays may also be placed under localized ECQ if needed.
Quezon City continues to report the highest number of coronavirus cases in Metro Manila, though it is also the most populated city in the region.
As of May 8, it has 1,518 confirmed cases and 134 deaths.
Transition for businesses. Under the proposed period, businesses allowed under GCQ are required to report their production capacities and workforce requirements. (READ: EXPLAINER: What happens under 'general community quarantine'?)
They would have to facilitate testing and quarantine of workers, implement thermal scanning and social distancing, and conduct regular disinfection of their work place.
Penalties will be imposed on businesses that fail to implement such measures, said Assistant City Administrator for Operations Alberto Kimpo.
Meanwhile, big businesses are “encouraged” to have their employees tested for COVID-19 and to prepare quarantine facilities for them.
The proposed transition period is designed to help businesses prepare for GCQ in a staggered manner.
“While the health of our residents remains our primary priority, we also need to look after the local economy, which has been affected severely by the dreaded virus,” said Belmonte.
During the proposed transition, QC said it would continue the distribution of both emergency subsidies for families from the national government and its own local financial aid like the Kalingang QC program.
Continued ECQ still possible. Though the ECQ is supposed to end on May 15, it can still be extended by the national government due to the growing number of coronavirus cases in the region.
Some 65% of all coronavirus cases in the country are in the densely populated megacity, which has been on lockdown since March 15.
Some Metro Manila mayors have asked for an extension of ECQ for the region for another 15 days.
Parañaque City Mayor and Metro Manila Council chief Edwin Olivarez has pointed out the need for a Metro Manila-wide ECQ instead of different levels of quarantine for each of its cities and lone town due to their interconnectedness.
A resident of one city may work in another city, making different quarantine measures per city difficult to enforce. – Rappler.com