Mayors upbeat about impact of new alert level system in NCR

By Lade Jean Kabagani

September 16, 2021, 5:30 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – All local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila are all set for the pilot implementation of a new alert level system and granular lockdowns starting Thursday.

In a statement on Thursday, Pasay Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano believed that the new quarantine classification will effectively reduce the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Metro Manila.

Rubiano said Pasay City will no longer have to adjust to the new quarantine protocols since they are already enforcing granular lockdowns for the past months to prevent massive community transmission of Covid-19 infection.

“Talagang sa Pasay po, ganito na ginagawa namin, may umiikot, pag nagla-lockdown kami ang tawag namin dati diyan localized lockdown (We are already doing this in Pasay, we are roaming around and imposing lockdown, we call it before as localized lockdown)," she said.

Rubiano expressed her full support for the effective pilot implementation of Alert Level 4 that is similar with the general community quarantine (GCQ) in Metro Manila.

"We will be utilizing all the necessary offices in the city hall to ensure that the new alert level will be properly observed," she said.

Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, also chairperson of the Metro Manila Council, assured the LGUs are well-prepared to proactively advocate the principles of 3C’s (Closed, Crowded, and Close Contact) from Sept. 16 to 30.

On Monday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) released the ratified guidelines on the pilot granular lockdowns after being postponed for the finalization of the proposed health protocols.

"Based doon sa guidelines na binigay po ng IATF, handang-handa na po ang ating local government units sa Metro Manila para po sa ating pilot implementation nitong ating Alert Level (Based on the guidelines of the IATF, the local government units in Metro Manila are very ready for the pilot implementation of this alert level system)," Olivarez said in a virtual interview on Wednesday.

In San Juan City, Mayor Francis Zamora said the local government has already prepared all necessary steps for the pilot run of granular lockdowns.

"All systems are already in place in San Juan -- from information dissemination to businesses, city officials and to our constituents; including our monitoring mechanisms to ensure that everyone adheres to the guidelines; up to our executive orders and ordinances to safeguard our implementation which includes penalizing businesses and individuals who will violate and defy the guidelines," Zamora said in a television interview. "The businesses and the city are very excited to slowly reopen the economy through this new quarantine status using alert levels."

Zamora urged the residents to avail themselves of Covid-19 vaccines.

"This is also the time to encourage the unvaccinated workers in the government and in the private sector because in the GCQ with alert level system, those fully vaccinated are being given incentives by the national government to involve themselves in economic activities," he said.

Zamora reminded the public that vaccination in the city is free of charge.

"So, please, take this opportunity to get vaccinated. You don't have to spend a single peso. In fact, San Juan has already opened its door for the vaccination of non-residents," he said.

Zamora said the city government is already readying for the pediatric vaccination.

"The registration for those ages 12-17 will also commence this week, even as we await the directives from the IATF as to when their vaccination would begin," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said the shift to localized or granular lockdowns is seen to be a more effective solution to halt the spread of Covid-19 infection.

Under the new guidelines, the new community quarantine classifications will have five Alert Levels that would determine the activities allowed in cities and/or municipalities.

The Department of Health (DOH) shall identify the Alert Level of the pilot areas but during the pilot implementation, the NCR mayors agreed to impose uniform Alert Level 4 with granular lockdowns to stop the spread of Covid-19. (PNA)