Metro Manila mayors recommend Alert Level 1 starting March 1

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has recommended to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to place the National Capital Region (NCR) under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 starting March 1.

Metro Manila mayors recommend Alert Level 1 starting March 1

MMDA Officer-in-Charge and General Manager Atty. Romando Artes said that all NCR mayors, through MMDA Resolution No. 22-06 (series of 2022), unanimously agreed to de-escalate the capital region to Alert Level 1 by next month.

"The resolution was already sent to the IATF earlier today. The basis of the MMC to ease the restrictions in the region is to open up the economy to ensure job generation,” said Artes during the press briefing at the MMDA headquarters in Makati City.

“The NCR's positivity rate for COVID-19 is now at 4.64 percent, way below the 5 percent standard of the World Health Organization."

Citing the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Situationer in the NCR, as of February 21, the region accounts for 32 percent of the confirmed cases nationwide; the distribution of RT-PCR tests done and positivity rates by LGU shows a Regional Average Positivity Rate of 4.64 percent; the Risk Classification and Health System Capacity by LGU evidence that out of 17 Metro Manila local government units, only one LGU remains at moderate risk classification while the rest are already at low risk classification based on the 2-week growth rate and average daily attack rate.

As of February 20, the DOH Health Care Capacity Utilization Status in the NCR shows that the Health Care Utilization Rate (HCUR) and COVID-19 Bed Utilization Rate in the Region are both on a downward trend and equally stand at 24.8%.

Also, Artes assured that the local chief executives of the NCR are ready and fully capable of implementing the IATF-prescribed health and safety protocols under COVID-19 Alert Level 1.

He added that despite the conduct of political activities such as motorcades and caravans, no notable spike of COVID cases were recorded in the past two weeks.

Meanwhile, Artes announced that the agency is studying the possibility of implementing a modified Unified Vehicular Volume Reduction Program (UVVRP) or number coding scheme during rush hour in the morning. At present, the number coding is implemented on weekdays, 5pm to 8pm, except holidays, and only covers private vehicles.

“We are studying to widen the coverage of our modified number coding scheme from 7am to 9am. I have met with the district heads of our Traffic Discipline Office. Based on their assessment, from 10am-5pm, light traffic situation is observed on major thoroughfares,” Artes said.

He disclosed that the MMDA does not want to impose the number coding for the whole day due to lack of public transportation.

The MMC, composed of the 17 Metro Manila mayors, is the governing and policy-making body of the MMDA.

— The Summit Express

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