The government is inclined to extend the pilot implementation of the new alert level system in the National Capital Region (NCR) until October, Interior Undersecretary Epimaco Densing III said.
“Mayroong indication na, base sa aming pag-uusap, na i-extend itong pilot testing sa NCR…Most probably, i-expect ng ating mga kababayan tuloy-tuloy ang alert level system until October,” Densing said in an interview on Dobol B TV.
(Based on our meetings, there are indications that we will extend the pilot testing in the NCR. Most probably, the public should expect that we will continue the Alert Level System until October.)
He mentioned that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF) is seeing the “effects” of the new lockdown system not only in the health aspect, but also in the economy.
“Mukhang nakikita natin nagkakaroon na ng epekto — not to mention, secondary na hangarin ay natutupad ‘yung nagkakaroon ng pagbubukas ng ekonomiya — nakakalabas ang ating mga kababayan para magnegosyo, kumita at magtrabaho,” he said.
(We are seeing its effects, not to mention, its secondary purpose which is to open the economy and to allow the people to go out for them to be able to earn for their living.)
Densing also disclosed that the government is also eyeing the expansion of the new quarantine system in other provinces, specifically in areas which are highly urbanized.
The plan came after the Department of Interior and Local Government’s meeting with the provincial governors last Monday.
“Ang tingin po namin dito kung ready na po, baka doon lang tayo sa mga lugar o pilot areas lang din sa mga probinsya at mga highly-urbanized city,” he said.
(If they are ready, we might start the implementation of the new system in some provinces and some highly-urbanized cities.)
“Kailangan pa natin i-tweak ang iba pang mga probisyon ng ating implementing guidelines base po sa aming pakikipag-usap sa ating mga lokal na opisyales,” he added.
(We still need to tweak some provisions in our implementing guidelines based on our consultations with our local officials.)
Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it is prepared to provide food packs should the government expand the implementation of the new alert level system nationwide.
“In case po na ang ating granular lockdown ay maging widespread, nationwide, na-allocate na po namin, na-estimate na po namin ang pangangailangan natin,” DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova said in an interview on Dobol B TV.
(In case the granular lockdowns will be implemented nationwide, we already allocated and estimated the required food packs.)
Metro Manila was placed under Alert Level 4 last September 16 and its pilot implementation will run until September 30.
Based on the government's new guidelines, areas under Alert Level 4 — the second highest alert level in the new scheme — are those with COVID-19 case counts that are high or increasing while total beds and ICU beds are at high utilization rate.
Under Alert Level 4, there will be certain restrictions for establishments and activities that would fall under the so-called 3Cs, which refer to closed spaces, crowded spaces, and activities that promote close contact.
Certain indoor activities will be allowed for the fully vaccinated. Granular lockdowns will also be implemented. Curfew hours are set from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairperson Benhur Abalos last Wednesday said the pilot implementation of the new system has been “a successful experiment” so far. —KG, GMA News