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NCR’s COVID-19 Alert level 4 to be assessed after 1 week –Abalos

The enforcement of the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 in the National Capital Region will be assessed after the first week of its pilot implementation, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Friday.

MMDA chair Benhur Abalos Jr. issued the remark amid calls to increase the onsite capacity of religious gatherings.

“After one week, i-assess po ito. Kung hindi tayo pumasa, another one week, ‘yung second week, ‘yung 14th day, sana po magkaisa tayo. Bumaba tayo sa Alert Level 3 para man lang umabot tayo sa 30% na puwede na ‘yan,” he said.

(After one week, we will assess it. If we don’t pass, there’s a second week, I hope we can work together. If we can lower the Alert Level to 3, we may reach the 30% maximum capacity.)

“‘Yun po ang hamon sa ating lahat taga Metro Manila,” he added.

(This is the challenge for everyone in Metro Manila.)

Under Alert Level 4, religious gatherings are limited to 10% venue/seating capacity and may accommodate only individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Meanwhile, a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity is allowed for religious gatherings conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status.

“Ganito po ano, lahat naman po tayo siguro… talagang gusto po natin malakihan pero tandaan po natin itong patakaran na ito ay dumaan sa technical working group ng IATF,” he said.

(Each one of us wants to increase the capacity, but let us remember that this is a policy that passed through the technical working group of the IATF.)

“Lahat po ‘yan base po ‘yan sa mga eksperto. So ‘yan po ay tinupad lang po namin dito sa MMDA at dito po ng mga mayor. Kung ano mang ipasa sa TWG, of course aayudahan ‘yan ng IATF dahil mga eksperto ‘yan eh,” he later added.

(This is based on experts and we in the MMDA and the mayors are only enforcing it. Whatever the TWG passes will be implemented by the IATF because it came from experts.)

Granular lockdowns

Abalos also said they could not notify residents in advance on the implementation of granular lockdowns after several netizens appealed to local governments to allow them to prepare.

“Kung ia-announce natin na mag lockdown, talagang mag uuwian at talagang mag spread lahat ito. Kaya naka design ng ganyan po ‘yan,” he said.

(If we announce the lockdown, residents will end up rushing home and the virus will spread. That’s why it is designed that way.)

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday said that the enforcement of Alert Level 4 in Metro Manila was so far "good."

Earlier, the DILG placed 57 areas in NCR under a granular lockdown. — DVM, GMA News