The Metro Manila Council confirmed that local chief executives have unanimously voted to downgrade to Alert Level 1 starting March 1. Chairman Edward Olivarez disclosed that the decision was met during an MMC meeting held Tuesday night.
The endorsement was forwarded to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. The office will then deliver their final decision on whether restrictions will be eased or not.
All officials displayed confidence in their capacity to uphold safety measures if the alert level is downgraded. The signed motion read, “Local chief executives of the NCR are ready and fully capable of implementing the IATF-prescribed health and safety protocols under COVID-19 Alert Level 1 status.”
However, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is hesitant about lowering the alert level. This is due to a possible surge brought by campaign activities leading up to the May elections.
NCR’s new daily infection count has been steadily decreasing. The positivity rate dropped below 5% for the first time in 2022.
Dr. Tony Leachon, the renowned Filipino physician, is in support of the shift as the NCR vaccination rate is high. He said that minimum public health standards must be implemented and that officials must stay ready in case of a surge.
Presidential adviser for COVID-19 Vince Dizon said that 80% of the at-risk population must be vaccinated to enforce Alert Level 1. 3 million senior citizens or people with comorbidities have yet to be vaccinated.