PALACE SAYS MECQ WILL BE A DELICATE BALANCING ACT
Malacañang said Monday the government would have to weigh public health and economic considerations before deciding whether to extend the stricter lockdown being imposed in Metro Manila and nearby provinces to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said last week that a prolonged lockdown could lead to grave economic consequences. The Philippine economy plunged into a recession after the gross domestic product shrank 16.5% in the second quarter as strict lockdowns shuttered businesses.
The National Economic and Development Authority last week said that only half of the economy’s capacity is open after Metro Manila and nearby provinces returned to stricter lockdown for two weeks.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday expressed confidence that Metro Manila is ready to revert to the general community quarantine after August 18, citing the decreasing number of new cases in recent days.
According to Roque, the effects of the MECQ would be felt two to three weeks after its enforcement.