Metro Manila mayors on Tuesday unanimously agreed to recommend a shift from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) by June.

The recommendation of the National Capital Region’s 17 mayors will be forwarded to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Wednesday, May 27, said Jojo Garcia, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority general manager, in a virtual press briefing.

Even if the region shifts to GCQ, the mayors will consider the possibility of implementing lockdowns on specific areas to control the spread of Covid-19, he said.

Parañaque Mayor and Metro Manila Council Chairman Edwin Olivarez earlier said the economic impact of the pandemic in Metro Manila was “horrifying,” and extending the MECQ would be a huge blow to the economy.

Metro Manila has been on the stringent enhanced community quarantine since mid-March. The MECQ, which allowed some businesses to reopen, was implemented beginning May 16.

The shift to GCQ will allow more businesses to reopen and employees to return to work.

Garcia said citizens should not be complacent even if quarantine measures would be relaxed.

“Hindi porke nag-GCQ tayo, wala na ang Covid. Ang Covid, nandiyan pa rin,” he said.

Last May 22, the National Task Force Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said strict quarantine measures might be limited to specific areas or “zones” by June.

The zoning concept would use the terminologies “critical area,” “containment area,” “buffer zone” and “economic area” to differentiate specific areas within a community.

The council said it would enforce whatever decision the IATF would make. John Ezekiel J. Hirro