Velasco backs lowering Metro Manila's alert status to level 2

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco. INQUIRER/NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Lord Allan Velasco is supporting calls and recommendations to lower Metro Manila’s COVID-19 alert status to level 2 this month.

“We fully support the proposal to further ease COVID-19 restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR) amid the steady decline in new infections as this would result in broader reopening of the economy,” the House leader said in a statement Wednesday.

“Downgrading Metro Manila’s lockdown restrictions to Alert Level 2 would mean that more businesses will resume operations and operate at increased capacity, thus allowing more Filipinos to regain their jobs and income,” he added.

Metro Manila is currently under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 until November 14. The national pandemic task force decided to retain the Alert Level 3 over the nation’s capital region in a bid to avoid a sudden increase of COVID-19 cases.

According to Velasco, since many Metro Manila residents have already been fully vaccinated, “we can confidently reopen as many businesses as possible and get our economy back on track.”

“Lowering the alert level in NCR as soon as possible could jumpstart the economy with increased consumer spending encouraging increase in production and economic activity, thereby bringing about employment opportunities for our kababayans,” he said.

Velasco then called on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to look into the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine brands to determine when the public should get a booster shot or another round of jabs.

He also urged the unvaccinated to get their shots and protect themselves and others against COVID-19.

“This is the only way to ensure the safety of everyone as we slowly go back to our normal lives, to the way things were before the pandemic,” said Velasco.

“Until then, let us continue to abide by the minimum health standards set by medical and science experts, such as wearing face masks and maintaining physical distancing, for us to stay safe during the health crisis,” he also said.

As of November 3, the government confirmed 2,793,898 COVID-19 infections across the country. This includes 38,014 active cases, 2,712,298 recovered patients, and 43,586 deaths.

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