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NCR, Calabarzon should be under MGCQ soon for economy's sake -DOF

Metro Manila and Calabarzon should soon be placed under the more lenient modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) “as quickly as possible” to boost the country’s economy amid the coronavirus pandemic, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III urged Wednesday.

In a televised briefing, Dominguez underscored that the Philippine economy was based in Metro Manila and Calabarzon.

“We have to face the new reality. The reality today is that the virus is not going to go away and we will have to live with it for a long period of time,” Dominguez said.

“You put NCR, Calabarzon— that is where the economy is based, about 60 percent or 67 percent of our economy is based in that area. That should move more to the MGCQ as quickly as possible because people have to start working,” he added.

The finance chief also advocated for a targeted lockdown of barangays and companies where there was a high number of coronavirus infections.

“For me, we should monitor it on a barangay level. The cases go up, just close it down but do it on a place-to-place basis and do it also on a company-to-company basis. So if the company has a big spike close it down also,” Dominguez said.

Dominguez said the Philippines started the year with strong economic fundamentals but was rocked by the pandemic.

“It was supposed to be an upper middle income country by this year prior to COVID-19 but we won’t make it,” Dominguez said.

Under MGCQ, gyms, cinemas, and other similar establishments are allowed to open at 50 percent capacity.

Foreign business travelers may also be allowed to enter the country once quarantine restrictions are downgraded to MGCQ.

The Philippines has logged 37,514 cases with 10,233 recoveries and 1,266 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon. -NB, GMA News