Mayors in Metro Manila have agreed to impose a shorter curfew hours as active COVID-19 cases in the region continue to decline.
Members of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) approved and signed on Oct. 10 a resolution stating the new curfew hours will be from 12 midnight to 4 a.m., two hours shorter than the previous 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. period.
The new policy will be implemented beginning today (Oct. 13), according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr.
The MMC, composed of the 17 mayors in Metro Manila, is the governing board and the policy-making body of the MMDA.
According to Abalos, the local chief executives decided to adjust and shorten the curfew hours after the Department of Health reported a “general decrease in COVID-19 active cases in NCR on account of rapid and efficient detect and isolate strategies and enhanced vaccination efforts, among others.”
“Everything is going down. The number of COVID-19 cases are (sic) declining as well as the reproduction rate, according to DOH data and OCTA Research. In light of the recent developments particularly the steady decrease of active cases, the curfew hours being presently implemented in the NCR under Alert Level 4 has to be adjusted,” Abalos said.
The DOH, however, encouraged the continued observance and enforcement of COVID- 19 protocols and minimum public health standards in order to avoid a future rise in active cases.
The MMC said the adjustment would also help businesses to recoup losses during the pandemic, noting that the health crisis has already affected a huge number of business establishments.
The previous curfew hour — 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. — was imposed following the implementation of a new alert level system last month being pilot tested to further curb the spread of the deadly virus.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila mayors will also enforce policies restricting access to public and private cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbaria from Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 to prevent mass gatherings and to avert COVID-19 transmission during the observance of Undas or All Saints’ Day.
Abalos said the MMC decided to adopt the resolution implemented last year to temporarily close cemeteries all over the metropolis – 29 public cemeteries in all – for at least one week.
“Filipinos can still physically visit the graves of their departed loved ones earlier than Oct. 29 or later than Nov. 2, subject to the prescribed thirty percent (30 percent) venue capacity, Face masks, face shields, and observance of physical distancing will be required,” said Abalos.
MMDA Resolution 21-22, Series of 2021, cited that “as for the conduct of wakes, necrological services, funerals, interment, cremation, and inurnment during this five-day period, the prescribed guidelines by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases shall govern.”