COMING from an economic expert, Metro Manila should remain under general community quarantine.
In a television interview, former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia cited the need to strike a balance between economy and health and placing the entire country under the least stringent community quarantine classification may not be wise.
Apparently referring to Metro Manila as “a high-risk area,” Pernia suggested the idea of selective lockdown in the region to abate the further spread of the virus which originated from Wuhan, China.
Pernia, who served as chief of the National Economic Development Authority, issued the statement as an offshoot of the decision of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, to recommend to place the entire National Capital Region under modified general community quarantine beginning March 1 to help jumpstart the country’s economy.
“Hindi puwedeng lahat na lang, parang absolute…. buong Metro Manila. Meron pa ring mga high-risk areas. Hindi dapat magkaroon ng MGCQ. GCQ pa rin dapat. ‘Yung mga low-risk areas, towns or cities of Metro Manila, puwede silang mag-MGCQ. Pero ‘yung mga high-risk pa rin, dapat manatili pa rin sa GCQ,” Pernia was quoted during the televised interview.
Only nine of Metro Manila’s 17 mayors voted for MGCQ during their meeting last Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said it is likely that the President will approve such recommendation.
While Pernia admits that Metro Manila cities are interconnected, the former NEDA chief urged mayors in the region to work out a plan to ensure limited public convergence in their respective localities.
“Meron naman sigurong paraan na i-minimize ‘yung mga interaction ng MGCQ na siyudad at tsaka GCQ ‘yung katabi. More caution, being more careful. Depende na ‘yun sa administrator, sa mayor,” he said.
He also doesn’t find the idea of reopening of traditional cinemas in GCQ areas starting March 1 as acceptable.
Aside from traditional cinemas, the IATF has also allowed other activities to expand, if not resume operations, such as libraries, exhibitions, interactive game arcades, and theme parks.