Malacañang on Thursday said the government was open to the idea of opening the borders of Metro Manila to fully vaccinated individuals but would only meet about it once the capital vaccinates 50 percent of its population.

Vaccinating 50 percent of the population achieves what the government calls “population protection,” a step towards herd immunity.

In a virtual presser, Palace spokesman Harry Roque welcomed President Rodrigo Duterte’s adviser on entrepreneurship Joey Conception’s idea to create a “transportation bubble” in Metro Manila for fully vaccinated individuals.

“We appreciate the suggestion po, pero siguro pag-usapan natin iyan kapag mayroon na po tayong population protection. Kasi ngayon po, papunta pa lang tayo sa population protection na 50 percent,” Roque said.

National Task Force Against Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon said in the same briefing that at least 41 million Metro Manila residents eligible to receive Covid-19 vaccines were already fully vaccinated.

Roque expressed confidence that the capital region would achieve population protection “after this week.”

“Sandali na lang naman po ito, Siguro after this week ay maaabot na ng Metro Manila ang 50 percent at mayroon na tayong kahit papaanong population protection, we can then explore how we can resume normal life given na kalahati ng populasyon ng Metro Manila ay bakunado na,” he said.

Metro Manila is under enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20. John Ezekiel J. Hirro