Curfew has been lifted over Metro Manila starting today, Nov. 4.
The 17 mayors of the National Capital Region (NCR) agreed to lift the curfew as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to decline, said the chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Benjamin Abalos Jr.
Based on the resolution approved by the Metro Manila Council, the lifting of the curfew will complement the adjustment of mall operating hours to provide both mall goers and mall employees ample time to get home.
“The lifting of curfew hours in Metro Manila will help spread out influx of people coming to and going from malls to further reduce the risk of virus’ transmission,” Abalos said.
The same resolution said mall owners have agreed to adjust their operating hours by opening until 11 p.m., instead of the usual 10 p.m. to help alleviate traffic in Metro Manila as the holiday season draws near.
Curfew hours for minors or those under 18 years old shall be subject to existing ordinances of the Metro Manila local government units, along with the continued observance and enforcement of COVID-19 protocols and minimum public health standards such as wearing of face shields and face masks, and observing social distancing.
The MMC, composed of the 17 local government units of Metro Manila, is the governing board and policy-making body of the MMDA.
On Monday, mall and commercial center operators agreed with the MMDA’s proposal to have adjusted business hours to ease road congestion during the peak buying season.
The MMDA had proposed the extension of mall hours to 11 p.m. or up until midnight.
Meanwhile, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said the passenger capacity for all rail lines and selected public utility vehicles (PUVs) in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces will be increased from the current 50 percent to 70 percent starting Nov. 4.
On Oct. 28, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) approved the recommendation of the Department of Transportation and the LTFRB to gradually increase passenger capacity in public transportation until they reach full capacity.
The LTFRB also clarified that plastic barriers inside public utility jeepneys are not required nationwide, provided that proper physical distancing is observed, and passengers practice health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Philippines logged 1,591 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the lowest daily tally since February, bringing the total number of cases to 2,793,898.
The number of fresh cases is the lowest since Feb. 24 when the country recorded 1,553.
There were 186 new fatalities Wednesday, bringing the COVID-19 death toll to 43,586.
The DOH also reported 4,294 new recoveries, bringing the total recoveries to 2,712,298.
There were 38,014 active cases, of which 69.4 percent were mild, 5.2 percent were asymptomatic, 3.4 percent were critical, 8.1 percent were severe, and 13.87 percent were moderate.
The positivity rate was at 5.6 percent, based on test results of samples from 29,489 individuals on Nov. 1.
Nationwide, 44 percent of ICU beds, 34 percent of isolation beds, 30 percent of ward beds, and 30 percent of ventilators, were in use.
In Metro Manila, 39 percent of ICU beds, 28 percent of isolation beds, 28 percent of ward beds, and 29 percent of ventilators, were in use.
Also on Wednesday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced the closure of the dolomite beach at the Manila Bay to give way to phase two of its rehabilitation.
Undersecretary Jonas Leones of the Policy, Planning and International Affairs said the closure would allow DENR to complete the rehabilitation work in the dolomite beach and to improve the fecal coliform level of the Manila Bay’s waters.
“As what we have promised, we will continue to fix Manila Bay,” he said.
Undersecretary Benny Antiporda of the Solid Waste Management and Local Government Units Concerns said they want to make Manila Bay swimmable.
“We are almost there. The main objective is the water quality. Our main objective is to finish it within the year, and not within the (Duterte) administration. We’ll try to do that,” he said.
On Oct. 16, the dolomite beach reopened to the public, but was closed again after two weeks amid overcrowding of over 300,000 visitors, including children, under Alert Level 3.
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