In an interview on Oct. 19, Metro Manila Council (MMC) chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said that local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) have agreed on allowing Simbang Gabi this year despite the pandemic.
To adhere to tradition while still ensuring social distancing, Metro Manila mayors are also looking into adjusting curfew hours to 12 a.m. to 3 a.m. starting Dec. 1.
“Ang mangyayari lang po diyan, mas dadami po ang simba sa madaling araw para maiwasan po natin ang gathering sa pagdikit-dikit at magkaroon po ng physical distancing,” stated Olivarez.
Justice Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) member Menardo Guevarra also said that Simbang Gabi celebrations might be discussed during the next IATF meeting this Thursday. “But in all likelihood, the lifting or shortening of curfews will be left to the discretion of the respective LGUs, except Metro Manila where LGU officials normally act in unison,” he added.
This proposed curfew for December will further trim down the newly-eased restricted period for outdoor activities that Metro Manila mayors have agreed to impose. From the currently-observed 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) general manager Jojo Garcia announced that the region will shift to having curfew hours from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. this week.
However, Olivarez said that Navotas won’t be following suit and will still continue to implement the city’s curfew hours from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.
The MMC chairman also announced that they will be adjusting quarantine age restrictions in NCR. From the current rules that allow only persons aged 21 to 60 years old to step out of their homes, those aged 18 to 65 years old will now be allowed outside of their residences as well.
Header photo from Inquirer.net
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Writer: YANN MAGCAMIT