The mayors of Metro Manila have recommended placing the National Capital Region under general community quarantine starting June 1, an official from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.
The Metro Manila Council, composed of the mayors of the metropolitan's 16 cities and one municipality, will submit the recommendation to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF), according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.
This is before the government’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) task force may decide on Wednesday whether to further ease restrictions in Metro Manila and other areas under modified enhanced community quarantine, Malacañang said Tuesday.
The IATF will meet today to discuss the fate of community quarantines after May 31. Its decision is subject to the final approval of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We will wait for the IATF's decision because we expect them to decide tomorrow. The important thing is to look at the disease's doubling rate, our critical care capacity, and of course attention to our economy,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said at a televised briefing.
At present, only the cities of Cebu and Mandaue are under the enhanced community quarantine.
Metro Manila, Laguna, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Angeles City, and Zambales will be under modified ECQ until May 31 unless earlier lifted or extended by the government, while the rest of the country is under the less strict general community quarantine.
Majority of the country’s more than 14,000 COVID-19 cases were recorded in Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, President Rodrigo Duterte has tapped one of his presidential advisers, Ramon “RJ” Jacinto, as the new undersecretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
In a press statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Jacinto’s appointment paper was signed on May 22.
Roque said Jacinto’s new designation was “co-terminus with the appointing authority”.
Jacinto’s appointment came after Duterte recently accepted the resignation of DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr. who resigned on January 31 this year.
Roque said the Palace was confident that Jacinto would be able to fulfill his job as the new DOST official.
“We are confident that Usec. Jacinto will serve DICT with dedication and integrity and will contribute to achieving the Department's mandate under the current administration,” he said.
Before his new stint, Jacinto served as the Presidential Adviser on Economic Affairs and Information Communications Technology, with the rank of undersecretary.
Jacinto, a musician, and businessman campaigned for Duterte in the 2016 presidential elections. He also composed a campaign jingle for Duterte.
Jacinto graduated with honors from the Ateneo de Manila with a degree in Economics. He continued his studies by taking up law at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila. With PNA