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Palace says eased restrictions in NCR needed to give people jobs

Malacañang said Thursday that easing COVID-19 restrictions in Metro Manila at Alert Level 3, which increased operational capacity for businesses and allowed cinemas to partially open for the first time since March 2020, is needed to provide jobs amid the pandemic.

"Kailangan nating bigyan ng hanapbuhay ang ating mga kababayan. Hindi puwede lagi na lang tayong lockdown dahil hindi tamad ang mga Pilipino (We need to allow our people to earn a living. We cannot go on lockdown forever because Filipinos are not lazy)," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said.

Roque said with vaccination coverage at 78% in NCR, easing restrictions is only fitting since vaccines prevent severe COVID-19, as well as hospitalization and death.

"With increased vaccination coverage, we expect less people to get sick. Dr. [Eric] Domingo even said breakthrough infections or those who got COVID-19 infection after getting fully vaccinated are at .00025%," Roque argued.

"Napakaganda [rin] po ng ating health care utilization in Metro Manila with 65% occupancy for ICU beds, 44% occupancy for isolation beds, 48% occupancy for ward beds, 58% for ventilator use. Hanapbuhay muna ang asikasihun natin (We should turn our eyes on livelihood for now)," Roque added.

The Alert Level 3 will be in effect in Metro Manila from October 16 to 31.—AOL, GMA News