— The local government of San Mateo, Rizal rolls out its pediatric vaccination for children aged 5 to 11 years old in SM San City Mateo on Monday (Feb. 14, 2022). (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 14 (Mabuhay) –Mayors in the National Capital Region (NCR) have agreed to extend the Alert Level 2 in Metro Manila until the end of February amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to MMDA officer-in-charge Romando Artes on Monday.

Interviewed during a vaccination event in Parañaque City, Artes said the recommendation was included in Metro Manila Council Resolution 22-04.

The resolution urges the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to extend Alert Level 2 in the NCR until February 28, 2022.

Under Alert Level 2 — the second lowest in the new alert level system — certain establishments and activities are allowed at 50% capacity indoors for fully vaccinated adults (and minors, even if unvaccinated), and 70% capacity outdoors.

The resolution was signed by all 17 mayors of NCR areas.

“Ito po ay unanimously approved na i-retain muna po ang Kalakhang Maynila under Alert Level 2 [It was unanimously approved that Metro Manila remains under Alert Level 2],” Artes said.

Artes said the mayors pointed out that only five out of 17 local government units in THE NCR are classified as “low risk” for COVID-19 while the rest are classified as “moderate risk.”

Another reason cited by the mayors is the political activities connected to the start of campaign period for candidates running for national posts in the 2022 elections.t

“Inaantabayanan po natin ang magiging epekto nito sa pagdami ng kaso ng COVID-19 [We are still monitoring its effect in the number of COVID-19 cases],” Artes said.

On Saturday, presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion reiterated his proposal to de-escalate the quarantine status of the NCR to lowest Alert Level 1, to further boost the country’s economic recovery.

“We recommended moving to Alert Level 1, sana [hopefully] by March. Matagal na ang sitwasyon na on-and-off ang ating ekonomiya [Our economy has been in an on-and-off situation for so long],” Concepcion said

On Sunday, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said the IATF will discuss on Monday whether the NCR is ready to shift to Alert Level 1 or what the Department of Health says is the “new normal.”   (MNS)

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