On September 6, it was announced that the national capital region (NCR) was to be put under general community quarantine (GCQ) with granular lockdowns from September 8 to 30. However, the following evening, the government said the region would remain in MECQ until the 15th.
You may be wondering, ‘why did they take the announcement back?’ Well, according to ABS-CBN News Online, the shift of Metro Manila to looser quarantine measures was postponed because mayors had questions about its implementing guidelines, the spokesperson of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said.
“Yung atin pong guidelines na inaantay ay hindi pa po handa, at hindi pa po naipapamahagi sa lahat ng mga mag-iimplement. At nagkaroon pa rin po meeting kahapon, ang ugnayan na ‘to ay kasama po ang mga Metro Manila mayors, at marami rin pong lumabas na mga katanungan doon na maaaring hindi pa rin po naging bahagi ng mga nakalatag o nakahandang guidelines na kinakailangan palawagin,” retired general Restituto Padilla said.
(Our guidelines that we were waiting for not ready yet, and have not been distributed to all implementers. And there was still a meeting with the Metro Manila mayors yesterday, and there were also many questions that came up there that may not have been part of the guidelines laid out or prepared that need to be expanded.)
To put things into perspective, Padilla said the appeal of some healthcare workers for an extension of stricter lockdown measures may also have been considered in the decision to delay the pilot implementation of granular lockdowns in the region.
On the other hand, business groups had earlier cheered the shift to GCQ with granular lockdowns, which the government hoped would better manage coronavirus infections and support the economy. So for now, Metro Manilans will have to wait for the guidelines to be released.