Presidential spokesman backs mayors to lift alert level in NCR
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque supports the decision of the Metro Manila mayors to lower the status of the National Capital Region (NCR) to Alert Level Three.
"From what I know the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) mayors suggested lowering the alert level to three, and we support that, but the decision will still come from the Department of Health (DOH)," Roque said in a regular press briefing on Thursday.
"That will be based on the decision of the DOH and the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) will conduct a meeting later," he added.
Alert Level Four in the NCR under a granular lockdown scheme which has been implemented for two weeks is set to end Sept.30.
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) chief Karl Kendrick Chua said data shows that the implementation of granular lockdown is effective based on the decreasing number of COVID-19 cases.
"Based on our data it is effective because even if we have less restrictions and we use granular lockdown, the COVID cases continue to go down. Our employment is returning based on the report of the Philippine Statistics Authority," he said.
"Our latest (employment) data shows, 69 percent of our economy is in heightened quarantine. These are under GCQ with restriction or Alert Level 4 and up, 23.3 million workers are affected, but the good news is the cases are going down so we see that starting October, we have more opportunity to further lower our quarantine classification," said Chua.
"So this is what we have to do alongside with our vaccination to speed up the opening of our economy," he added.
Chua stressed the need to expand the pilot implementation of the alert level system to other areas of the country so that the people will learn how to live with the virus.
"We need to expand the pilot and learn from our experiences from different areas of the country. And I think this is the solution because the whole country or the whole region cannot return to the lockdown, because we have to learn to live with this virus," he said. Robina Asido/DMS