San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said on May 8 that he wants his city to stay under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) despite Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año’s comment that it can be placed under the less strict general community quarantine (GCQ).
In a DZBB interview, Zamora said he didn’t want a second wave of COVID-19 infections in San Juan.
"Ako personally, hindi ho muna. Base sa nakikita natin araw-araw, maganda ang lumalabas na resulta natin, nagma-mass testing tayo at sa bilang ng minamass testing natin ay napakaliit ng porsiyento ng nagpopositive," he said.
Even though the situation in the city is improving, he doesn’t want the past two months of ECQ to go to waste.
"Ngunit ayoko ho kasing sayangin 'yung pinaghirapan natin sa loob ng dalawang buwan, grabe hong sakripisyo ang pinagdaanan nating lahat," he said.
Zamora said he would ask for an extension of ECQ in San Juan. "Ako ho ay hihiling ng kaunti pang extension. Kung bumababa, maganda ho 'yun. Pero mas maganda para sa akin, magandang tuluyan na bumaba ito. 'Yung sustainability ho kasi 'yan eh," he said.
As businesses are closed and daily operations have come to a halt during the ECQ, the country’s economy has taken blows. Zamora said that while the economy is important, the country could recover from losses, unlike losing people to COVID-19.
"Para saan 'yung kikitain mo, kung mamamatayan ka naman... eventually mababawi naman natin 'yung economic losses natin," Zamora said.
On May 7, Año said the cities of San Juan and Valenzuela could shift to GCQ on May 15, citing lower number of new COVID-19 cases.
Zamora still thanked Año for thinking that San Juan City could be placed under GCQ given its improvements during ECQ.
"Ako po ay nagpapasalamat kay DILG Secretary Eduardo Año sapagkat ang San Juan ay isa sa dalawang lungsod sa Metro Manila na binabanggit ho niya na posibleng maging GCQ na sa May 15. Nakakataba ng puso ang kaniyang binanggit sa San Juan," Zamora said.
Earlier today, the Metro Manila Council (MMC) Chairperson and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said that Metro Manila mayors are eyeing a Metro-wide extension of the ECQ so as to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
While some areas in Metro Manila, some areas like Quezon City continue to report more positive cases. Olivarez said the 17 cities of Metro Manila are very interconnected, with some residents living in one city, but working in another. Placing some cities under GCQ while others are under ECQ could pose problems in crossing boundaries, and could further spread COVID-19.
The MMC, along with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Danilo Lim, will have a virtual meeting on May 9 to come to a resolution on the matter. They will forward their recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
The IATF will decide if ECQ will be extended in all of Metro Manila.