MANILA, Philippines — Secretary Eduardo Año said the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is still studying whether or not to implement a more relaxed restriction in the National Capital Region (NCR) without discriminating against those who are not yet vaccinated.
Año, however, indicated that he is more inclined to favor downgrading the restriction in the capital saying it is about time.
“In Metro Manila, I will give my all honest opinion with the high percentage of vaccination, it’s about time to really give some additional privilege to the vaccinated. It will also encourage other people to be vaccinated,” he said.
Among those who support the relaxation of quarantine restrictions is Go Negosyo founder and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion.
He said that a more relaxed restriction should now be imposed in areas where the majority of the population is already vaccinated such as in the NCR.
“I think we should move forward and really test it because how do you live with COVID if even the vaccinated will not be allowed movement,” Concepcion said.
The Metro Manila Council (MMC) said it agrees with Concepcion and even released a resolution to urge the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to approve such proposal although the mayors support the strict implementation of the health and safety protocol to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
“It means that we are one with the call of Mr. Concepcion or even of the businessmen to urge IATF to consider the easing of the guidelines; however, it is subject to the study of interdisciplinary,” said MMC and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority concurrent chairman Benhur Abalos.
At present, over 50% of the NCR’s population are fully vaccinated, 80% if to include those who received their first dose.
The IATF is now finalizing the guidelines for the new quarantine classifications using the new alert level system. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)