Metro Manila, except Navotas, adopts 12am to 4am curfew; wants 30% seating capacity in religious gatherings
Metro Manila mayors, except Navotas City, have approved a four-hour curfew and this will be further shortened by December, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Monday.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia, in a televised press briefing, said the new curfew hours of 12am to 4am was approved during a meeting of the 17 mayors of the National Capital Region along with some officials of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases on Sunday.
"The mayors gave their suggestions. The first was to adjust the curfew from 12am to 4am. This will happen this week," he said, noting that each local government unit has to pass an ordinance yet adjusting the current curfew hours of 10pm to 5am.
Almost all of the LGUs in the county have been imposing curfew to restrict the movement of the people amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Garcia said Mayor Toby Tiangco has requested that Navotas, which is "at the far end" of Metro Manila, to maintain their curfew between 8pm to 5am to prevent residents from loafing around or drinking outside their homes.
He said that by December 1, the Metro Manila mayors also agreed to reduce further the curfew to 12am to 3am in preparation for the annual "Misa de Gallo," a Roman Catholic practice of attending early morning mass for nine days, usually starting on December 16 until prior to Christmas Day on December 25.
With a shorter curfew by December, he said that during the Misa de Gallo, masses could be held every hour from 3am since as per IATF policy, religious activities could only up to a maximum of 10 percent seating or venue capacity in areas under general community quarantine, like Metro Manila, to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"This is to accommodate all those who want to go to church," he said.
The official said the NCR chief executives also unanimously agreed to recommend to IATF to increase the seating capacity for religious gatherings to 30 percent in the region.
He said the recommendation was reached, citing the "psychological and moral issues" of the people who feel the need to personally go to the church.
The Department of Health and the World Health Organization have underscored the importance of public mental health amid the quarantine protocols being implemented. Celerina Monte/DMS