Mayors of cities in Metro Manila issued a resolution urging a temporary closure of shopping malls, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Saturday.
In a press conference, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said the Metro Manila Council has issued a resolution urging all local governments in the National Capital Region (NCR) to issue ordinances for the temporary closure of malls and other establishments.
“Sa ganitong panahon sino pa ba ang mag sho-shoping ng bagong damit, bagong sapatos? Hindi 'yan kailangan, hindi ‘yan priority,” Garcia said.
Businesses offering essential services such as groceries, banks, and pharmacies will be exempted.
Sought for comment, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the suggestion to temporarily close malls was also discussed during the Inter-Agency Task Force meeting.
“[So] upon assessment, it will be safer to close them except for basic stores,” Lopez said.
In response, Ayala Malls issued an advisory on Facebook saying their malls will close at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.
SM Supermalls, on the other hand, announced it will revise its mall hours to 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. starting March 15.
The government raised the Code Red Sub-Level 2 alert on Thursday due to the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte announced tougher measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, including work and class suspensions as well as travel restrictions, as part of a "community quarantine" in Metro Manila.
The MMDA will impose a curfew in the National Capital Region as part of community quarantine measures to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Effective Sunday, March 15, Metro Manila will have a curfew from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The curfew will last until April 14. —KG, GMA News