Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces were placed under an 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM curfew following the reimplementation of MECQ. However, some have complained that its implementation of 8:00 PM is still too early. After much debate about that topic, the MMDA adjusted the time restriction, for Metro Manila, at least.
According to MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos, speaking on GMA’s Unang Balita, curfew hours will be shortened once again. Starting May 1, it will begin at 10:00 PM but will still end at 4:00 AM. There is no mention if the surrounding provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will adapt to the new hours.
With curfew hours shortened, does this mean the region will revert to GCQ next month? Well, that’s still uncertain, and it will be up to the IATF and President Rodrigo Duterte to decide.
Abalos does mention that the mayors in Metro Manila are recommending the implementation of a “flexible MECQ” after April 30. Under the proposed “flexible MECQ”, additional types of businesses will be allowed to operate. Among those would be construction activities and other businesses deemed appropriate by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). The list would also have to be approved by the Department of Health and the National Economic and Development Authority.
Should the government decide to extend MECQ after April 30, Abalos says Metro Manila mayors are amenable to the move. Even though the number of active cases has gone down, the mayors would want to drive that lower sooner than later.
So far, reverting to MECQ and extending it for an additional two weeks have reduced the infection rate across the country. But with the numbers still in the high thousands and hospitals filled up with patients, MECQ will likely be extended, albeit with a few minor changes.